An Australian forest industries delegation to Japan accompanying the Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Senator Jonathan Duniam will build a stronger relationship and help expand the market for high-quality Australian forest products, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Ross Hampton said.

The Australian forest industry is visiting Japan on the 27th and 28th of October 2019, which included a reception last night with Assistant Minister Duniam, Australian forestry leaders, and senior figures from Japan’s paper industries that represent one of Australia’s key export markets in sustainable forest products.

“Our industry sees real benefit in building stronger ties with Japan because a strong export market for our forest products industries complements the domestic manufacturing sector to create more local jobs and greater investment in our regional and rural communities,” Mr Hampton said.

“Australia exports more than 2 million tonnes of hardwood woodchips to Japan annually, and a further 500,000 in softwood woodchips, worth more than 40 billion YEN combined, or around half a billion Australian dollars.

“Japan’s growing bioenergy market presents significant opportunities for our industry and it is a market we would like to develop further.

“It is fantastic that the Assistant Minister for Forestry Senator Jonathon Duniam has been able to lead the delegation, given he is such a strong supporter of our sustainable forest industries and recognises its importance to many hundreds of communities right across Australia.

Australia has 132 million hectares of native or natural forest. Of that, less than 0.06% is harvested each year and always regenerated ensuring an industry so sustainable it can continue indefinitely.

Currently there are 2 million hectares of hardwood and softwood plantations and with the Coalition Government’s support the forest industry is working on growing that estate by a further one billion trees in the next decade to ensure that Australia has the forest resource to meet our growing domestic and export demand for our quality forest products.