Lowveld
New opportunities for forestry in Moz
13:23 (GMT+2), Tue , 18 August 2015
Lowveld
CEO of Forestry South Africa, Mr Michael Peters.
 Stefan de Villiers

The forestry industry can contribute immensely to regional economic development. This was the message that was conveyed by the CEO of Forestry South Africa, Michael Peters, while addressing the forestry trade and investment seminar hosted by the Department of
Trade and Industry in Mbombela
last week.
The seminar was part of the inward trade and investment mission to South Africa and was attended by government officials responsible for forestry based industries and private sector players in the forestry value chain from Mozambique and South Africa.
“The Mozambican government has targeted seven million hectares for forestry plantation and this presents an immense opportunity for both Mozambican and South African businesspeople to partner and explore these opportunities for trade and investment. It is an opportunity for us to utilise the skills and technologies we have to contribute to job creation and economic development of both countries,” said Peters.
He added that the industry which was currently contributing R45,5 billion to the gross domestic product is capable of producing ample jobs and boost the economy.
The president of Mozambique Timber Association, Jorge Isaias Chacate said the time to talk about Mozambique was over. He said now was the time to talk to Mozambique and form partnerships, collaborations and joint ventures to benefit both counties.
According to Chacate, the lack of skills and technology in the industry to process timber and the huge forest potential in Mozambique created a good business environment for South African firms.
He added that the 130 species of wood with only less than a half being explored also present an opportunity for South Africa to address its timber shortage.
The chief director: agro processing with the Department of Trade and Industry, Unati Speirs emphasised the importance of intra-Africa trade
“African countries should make it a priority to partner and collaborate in doing business in order to contribute to regional economic development and address the challenges that are facing Africa,” said Speirs.
She added this could also be achieved in Mozambique as a strategic market with its abundant forestry development opportunities.
The mission was concluded with site visits to White River Sawmill and Ezigro Seeds.
The purpose of the mission was to explore trade and investment opportunities in the forestry value chain between Mozambique and South African businesses.

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