Feedback on the Sino-African meeting organized by CTWPDA and ATIBT the 17th and 18th December on Sustainable Timber


The Sino-African Sustainable Timber Online B2B Meeting jointly organized by China Timber & Wood Products Distribution Association (CTWPDA) and the International Tropical Timber Association (ATIBT), was successfully held on 17-18th December. The meeting aimed to build a platform for direct communication and cooperation between best practice timber enterprises in China and Africa in order to promote the development of sustainable hardwood trade.

Li Jiafeng, Vice President and Secretary General of China Timber & Wood Products Distribution Association, said that the growth of global wood trade is of great significance in promoting forest management, wood processing industry development and employment out of poverty, and that the development of timber trade, including hardwood, requires stable and sustainable trade relations with countries around the world to achieve mutual benefits and win-win results. Even with the impact of the epidemic, global wood trade has remained strong in spite of the continued weakness of other commodities with China being the locomotive for continued growth in the timber trade.

Robert Hunink, Former President of the International Tropical Timber Technical Association (ATIBT), thanked CTWPDA Vice President Li Jiafeng and his team for having taken the initiative to organize these B2B meetings. He pointed out that this event is a direct result of the memorandum of understanding signed in October 2019 in Huzhou between CTWPDA and ATIBT.  The B2B meetings bring together companies from both organizations that are considered the leaders in their industry who are hoping to strengthen cooperation in all aspects in order to better understand each other’s needs, to promote the sustainable and healthy development of the wood industry and in doing so also contribute to the UN sustainable development goals.

The companies participated in this meeting are members of CTWPDA and ATIBT. The supplying companies are PALLISCO CIFM, ROUGIER, PRECIOUS WOODS, CIB OLAM and INTERHOLCO. The above companies own a total area of over 6.34 million hectares of certificated forest land in Cameroon, Congo, Gabon and Brazil, and their main products include logs, lumber, plywood and finger-joined panels. The Chinese enterprises include China Forestry Materials Company Limited (Zhangjiagang), Wenzhou Timber Group Company Limited, Jingjiang Guolin Forestry Company Limited, Shanghai Guohao Wood Industry Company Limited and Zhangjiagang Hongxi International Trade Company, with a combined total turnover of over 11.83 billion RMB in 2019. Their main businesses are forestry resources operation, timber import and export trade, domestic wholesale trade, logs, lumber, integrated timber, furniture and wood products, preserved wood building materials, etc.

After the meeting, represents from both sides highly praised this B2B meeting which was facilitated by translators organized by CTWPDA.

ATIBT members greatly appreciated the opportunity they had to discuss various topics with their CTWPDA counterparts. Topics that included sustainable forest management practices and certification, production capacities, value added products and the availability of the so-called lesser-known timber species.

ATIBT is looking forward to continue these business exchanges in order to be able to reach out to a larger CTWPDA member base. ATIBT and its members also like to learn more about the new Chinese forestry law in general, and article 65 (entry and exit of raw materials and products) in particular.

Through this meeting, the supplying companies were able to gain timely and in-depth information about the industry in the largest hardwood consumer market, and on this basis, they were able to adjust their production plans in real time according to the needs of the purchasing companies in order to better match the requirements of the market.

The Chinese companies said that the business meeting held during the epidemic, was an innovation and maximized the possibilities for future cooperation between Chinese and African companies and maintained the existing cooperation relationship. Through this meeting, both sides unanimously expressed their hope to use this platform to deepen communication and cooperation between domestic and foreign enterprises, to exchange timely information on the situation of foreign forestry and changes in the domestic market, and to make corresponding adjustments for targeted trade cooperation.