Gabon SEZ. Image: Gabon SEZ
Gabon’s newly-set up Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is reaching out to India’s wood-based industries to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the zone.
Gabon SEZ is a public-private partnership between Olam International, the Republic of Gabon and the African Finance Corporation. Log supplies will be guaranteed for manufacturers setting up in the zone.
The African country is well-known for its timber resources and can supply a wide range of timbers with okoume being the most popular for veneer and plywood production.
Reserves of exploitable timber are said to extend to 25-35 Mn cbm of ozigo, 20 – 30 Mn cbm of ilomba, 15 – 20 Mn cbm of azobe, 10 – 20 Mn cbm of padouk, as well as large stocks of mahogany, kevazingo, ebony, dibetou, movingui, and zebrano.
Companies relocating to the SEZ will enjoy tax benefits and advantageous recruitment conditions.
India has been trying to supplement domestic timber resources through imports from South East Asian countries. Some companies have invested in production capacity in Asia to meet domestic requirements of veneers and plywood.