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23 September 1998
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry officials will meet with the president of the Chinese Academy of Forestry Madam Jiang Zehui this week to further strengthen the exchange of forestry science and technology information between the two countries.
MAF had entered into an agreement with the Chinese Ministry of Forestry in 1991 largely to exchange information and facilitate cooperation.
Madam Jiang holds Vice Minister Rank at the Chinese State Forestry Administration concurrently with her position at the Academy. She is also the sister of the People’s Republic of China’s president, Jiang Zemin. The New Zealand government has granted Madam Jiang partial Guest of Government status.
China is New Zealand’s seventh largest export market for all products and fifth largest trading partner overall. Ranked tenth in destination for forestry product exports, the Chinese market imports wood pulp and paper, logs and poles and a smaller quantity of sawn timber. In the year ending June 30 1998 New Zealand forestry product exports to China were valued at NZ$41.9 million.
The opportunities for New Zealand forest products to China are set to grow. The Chinese recently placed a ban on the cutting of their indigenous forests that will lead to a greater demand for imported forest products in the longer term. In the short term, damage caused by major flooding in China will increase the demand for wood for reconstruction.
There is a growing concern in China about the effect of extensive deforestation in areas of widespread flooding. Madam Jiang has expressed particular interest in New Zealand’s reforestation technology. During her visit from September 23-29, Madam Jiang and her ten person delegation will visit a number of forestry operations in Rotorua, Taupo and Auckland and see reforestation and commercial forest management techniques in practice. The delegation will also visit research and training institutions as well as gain an insight into natural forest management.
The Chinese Academy of Forestry consists of ten different research institutes and at the end of 1997 employed more than 1700 scientific and technical staff.