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China to fully open its forestry industry
China has decided to open its forestry industry to the outside world to cope with the new market environment brought about by its World Trade Organization (WTO) entry.
"Only by opening up in the areas of finance, management, technology and human resources can the country's forestry industry realize its goal set for the year 2050," said Zhou Shengxian, director of the State Forestry Administration.
China plans to raise its afforestation rate to 26 percent by 2050, which Zhou said would take a century to reach under the current conditions.
"As the forestry industry will not be listed among sectors under government protection after China's WTO entry, this sector will be exposed to fiercer competition, especially in industrial management and business operation," said Zhou in a recent symposium on the industry's development after China's WTO accession.
Capital- and technology-intensive sectors such as forestry machinery and paper making are expected to feel the intensity of global competition soon, he said.
The most urgent task for the forestry industry is to establish a modern corporate system and improve local companies' competitiveness in the world market, Zhou said.
China should not be held back by domestic forest reserves, but should speed up the construction of forest bases at home and try to use more forest resources in the other parts of the world.
The plywood industry should consolidate its market by increasing production and upgrading the quality of products, while the paper making industry should work with the forest industry for common prosperity.
Forest resources should also be further tapped to develop tourism, and flower growing should be aimed at different species which suit different environments, said Zhou.
By the end of last year, the State Forestry Administration had signed interdepartmental cooperation agreements with 22 countries, and eight agreements with six countries on behalf of the Chinese government. Some US$2.56 billion of foreign capital had been used, with the import and export of forest products totaling US$18.25 billion.
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