Gabon: Timber industry is becoming increasingly vital

Through a strategy specifically targeted at sustainably managing timber and promoting secondary as well as tertiary processing, Gabon is preparing to become a global leader in certified tropical timber production, according to Times Now. Already in the country, the timber industry not only holds significant growth potential, but it is also the biggest employer in the private sector, employing some 28 per cent of the working population.

Second to exports of oil and manganese, timber exports in Gabon make up some nine per cent of the nation’s total value of exports, with an estimated 10.7 million hectares of the country’s 21 million hectares of rainforest set aside for commercial timber production. Okoume, a light hardwood frequently used for plywood is the most commercially viable, and of the exports, the majority is shipped to China.

Presently, the World Bank as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are working with the Gabonese government to reform and remake its timber industry in order to improve and enforce transparency, improve responsible logging practices, and simplify the tax code.

According to the Times Now, in addition, the government is also amending the forest code to raise transparency, as well as improve the business climate for foreign companies looking to enter the Gabonese market and implement sustainable business practices.


Source: Times Now