WPMA's Chair and CEO, Brian Stanley and Jon Tanner, were in China last week to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the equivalent body the China Timber and Wood Products Distribution Association (CTWPDA). The signing between the two organisations took place at the 7th China Global Wood Trade Conference in Chengdu and was witnessed by over 400 delegates from China and around the world.
The CTWPDA's current membership consists of 3000 companies engaged in timber importing, wholesaling as well as manufacturing. Brian Stanley says that besides being the representative organisation of China's timber industry and forming an important interface with the Chinese Government the MoU is of particular value to WPMA members because the CTWPDA is set up to promote international timber trade with China. As agreed with CTWPDA's President, Liu Nengwen, the CTWPDA / WPMA relationship intends to develop mutually beneficial trading and investment relationships between both countries. Brian commented that the WPMA looks forward to hosting the CTWPDA-led delegation to New Zealand in 2018.
The MoU also focuses on technical cooperation between both countries and, on that front, we are well advanced. "Having succeeded in writing New Zealand timber specifications into the official Chinese Timber Design Code last year I am pleased to report that the on-going project between WPMA and the Chinese authorities to write the Chinese Timber Design Handbook is making good progress", noted Mr Stanley. This followed meeting with the project leader, Professor Yang, of the China Southwest Architectural Design and Research Corporation. In New Zealand this project is made up of a consortium led by WPMA and includes Scion, the University of Canterbury, Indufor, MPI and MFAT. The project forms part of the WPMA workplan on technical standards' harmonisation to assist trade.