Increase in downstream processing of products from the forest sector such as sawn timber and veneer sheets or plyboards is observed in PAPUA New Guinea, says Forestry Minister Douglas Tomuriesa.
He said performance in the sector has been healthy in the past four years and the export of downstream products sees an increase from 8 per cent to 21 per cent.
“Downstream processing of balsa wood and veneer sheets have increased significantly in the past four years,” he said.
He also remarked that there are even some development seen in the furniture export as companies are producing and exporting furniture out of Papua New Guinea.
The country’s main market for sawn timber is China but they are also placing their sight on India, Australian and New Zealand as well as other small Asian markets.
Processed products from the forestry sector is contributing about US$430 million a year in revenue for the country, said Tomuriesa.
According to the PNG Forestry Association, forestry in Papua New Guinea supports 12,000 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs.
Executive officer Bob Tate said annual payments to landowners were over US$25.8 million a year and the government received more than US$92.1 million a year in tax revenue.
Tate said forestry has been a major export earner for Papua New Guinea for many years and a close second to the oil palm industry in its national earnings.