ATIBT Forum Report
Asia Observatory

07 October 2005

ATIBT Forum Report

The ATIBT forum took place between the 19th and 23rd of September in Shanghai, with three days of industrial visits and 2 days of conference. The forum was attended by 200 participants from around 30 countries and it facilitated numerous meetings at the heart of this country which is becoming unavoidable, and which was visited by many for the first time!
Monday 19th, Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st September: Industrial Visits VICWOOD (largest Asian producer of veneer and plywood) – visit to the Suzhou site where there are 7000 permanent employees and 11 peeling, slicing, plywood and parquet units.  The production is exported to the 4 corners of the globe; to nearly 60 countries.
ANXIN FLOORING: largest producer of solid parquet, and Chinese sawn timber importers.  The Group employs almost 1400 employees between the 2 industrial sites of Shanghai and Curutiba in Brazil (decking production).  The unit in Shanghai has 6 parquet production units with a capacity of 3 million m2. The port of ZHANG JIA GANG is the largest in terms of tropical timber product imports, and nearly 3 million m3 were imported in 2004 (300 different species) having a reported declared value of 400 millions Euros.  South-East Asia and Oceania make up 76% of the port’s total imports.
 Factory producing plywood from sheets peeled in South East Asia and Africa and which is a filial of the Malaysian Group, Rimbunan Hijau.
These visits gave a first insight into the Chinese dynamism, which were complemented by the 2 days of presentations and debates on the 22nd and 23rd of September during which we broached the theme of discovering the current and future Chinese market for timber products:

- Its needs and supply sources
- Its local and export market
- Its sensitivity to environmental and governance issues
Thursday 22 September : Work of the ATIBT commissions and news of the profession, a look at China

Forest Commission
Sustainable management, the key to the network
With the aim of reacting and informing we wished to present:
The situation of management in tropical forest concessions: where we are at, modalities of technical accompaniment by putting into place management cellules, problems faced, problem of small concessions, importance of social and wildlife aspects as well as reduced impact logging methods
Carbon sinks: a current issue, and we know the polluter pays principle. But how do they function, some concrete examples and finance mechanisms.
Certification, different worldwide systems,procedures and stakes.

Wood and Industry Commission

Environmental rules and techniques: concrete examples of measures taken by the EU: CE Label (Interest/importance in present and future exchanges with the EU) and Biocides Directive on preservation products.
Valuing secondary species! Management plans have allowed us to specify an important standing stock of species which today are poorly known.  However, their use in addition to the principal species is a must for sustainable management. There is also a better valorisation of the principal species through a diversification of uses.

Standards and Rules Commission
Knowing and recognising the norms, What the consequences of being misinformed can be?  The example of Italy.
The norms in the veneer trade: American point of view showing the necessity to rework together the ATIBT veneer guide.  Problems of the timber packing regulations which comes into application in the USA on the 16th September.
International Regulations for the protection of threatened species.
Presentation of the situation by a representative from CITES China.
Transport Commission

Evolutions in the regular lines of transport from loose to container, new actors, increasing fuel prices, commercial flows and the place of China. An exhaustive account of the new transport datas.
Role and activities of the Port of Zhang Jia Gang at the scale of the development of Shanghai and the country.

Training Commission/Arbitration Chamber

Made to measure training – Beginning of renovated ATIBT “grading” and “experts” training.
  Better meeting the needs of the companies by targeted training.  Educational and technical solutions to adapting the ATIBT grading rules to changes in the profession. ATIBT experts are at your disposal.
The numerous exchanges which have been made with professionals present has allowed us to collect recommendations on the necessary changes to the ATIBT rules for sawn timber and processed products and to finalise the work in progress on these changes.