Conference will improve wood sector

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

The forestry, wood and paper sector is poised for a significant boost from this year's Woodworking conference, which will take place in September.

"This project will create tremendous stimulation to a major sector in the economy," said Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) chief executive Keith Brebnor.

"The wood sector was once one of the most fluid sectors, but has become one of the most neglected over the past 10 years."

The event will be hosted by a European Union-southern Africa business partnership comprising the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Euro Info Centre, EU SADC Investment Programme (Essip) and the JCCI.

The event is aimed at creating a platform for southern African woodworking companies to interact with their European counterparts. Target groups include businesses working with construction material, furniture manufacturers, wood packaging and other wood products.

"Business meetings will be the main focus of the event," said Euro Info Centre managing director Christina Soderstrom. "We expect to have about 100 companies, 60 from Africa and 40 from Europe. Each company will conduct as many as 20 business meetings, but the key will be the follow-up within six months after the meeting."