A Training Workshop Held in Zhangjiagang for Promoting China-African Legal and Sustainable Timber Investment and Trade

author:the Center for International Forest Products Trade

In order to increase the awareness and capacity of Chinese tropical timber traders and thus facilitate the healthy progress of China-African timber trade, the CINFT of SFA, teamed up with Zhangjiagang Timber Industry Association (ZTIA) to hold a training workshop on November 30th in Zhangjiagang, with the aim to promote the bilateral legal and sustainable timber investment and trade. A total of 30 enterprises doing business in African countries participated in this workshop.

The experts from the Department of Development Planning and Assets Management of SAF and CINFT delivered their presentations on "Going Out" strategy, new decisions and actions of CITES, Chinese and African timber trade policies, and legality requirements and corresponding actions of international market on timber. They shared with the enterprises that the new guiding ideology, such as “green development” and “building a community of shared future”, in the 19th CPC National Congress Report gave a stronger indication that sustainable and legal timber trade will be the future direction.

The enterprise participants showed great interests on the policies. They hoped to have a more consistent policies in Africa, and thought that the changing policies in Africa were sometimes the cause of illegality. They expressed their willingness to make contribution to legal and sustainable timber trade between China and Africa, which they said will be right and unavoidable way forward, but they also expected governments, scientific research institutions, and industrial associations could give them more help for improving trade and investment practices and enhancing competitiveness.

Zhangjiagang is the largest import hub of broad-leaved wood in China, where there are nearly 4,000 enterprises engaging timber import and export trade. The majority of them have established trade relations with Africa, which made Zhangjiagang the largest port of African timber imports.

Written and translated by the Center for International Forest Products Trade