Participants at the release event of the first monthly GTI report in China, Macao SAR. Photo: GGSC
Yokohama, Japan, 9 December 2022: Timber production and operations shrunk in November in Brazil, the Congo, Gabon, Malaysia and Mexico, according to the first Global Timber Index (GTI) monthly report, released yesterday. According to the report, factors in the sector’s below-average performance include a global economic contraction, declining international demand, and the rainy season in Africa.
The GTI was created by ITTO with the aim of facilitating business information and data exchange on the timber trade and promoting collaboration among stakeholders in a stable, transparent and predictable business environment. It comprises part of the GTI Platform, which compiles, verifies, processes, analyzes and releases timber-related data from major producers and consumers based on specific mathematical models.
ITTO Executive Director Sheam Satkuru said the release of the GTI’s first report “may be one small step for an activity but might lead to one giant leap for the whole timber sector”.
She expected the GTI to become an important tool for increasing transparency in the tropical timber trade and improving policies.
“Once it is fully operational, the GTI Platform will serve as the first comprehensive timber index in the world, which will gradually develop into a ‘weathervane’ of the timber industry,” she said.
The GTI’s November report was released in a hybrid meeting on the GTI Platform and an associated international workshop on global timber market trends, co-organized by ITTO and the Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) of Macao SAR, China. Around 170 participants from 12 countries attended the event in person or virtually.
The GTI Platform is being developed as part of a framework of cooperation and collaboration between ITTO and Macao IPIM, which is supporting the activity financially. The work is being implemented by the Secretariat of the Global Green Supply Chains (GGSC), which is also based in China.
Seven pilot countries in tropical Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as China and about 150 enterprises and companies, are participating in the initial phase of the GTI Platform. Representatives of the focal points and industrial/business sector of Brazil, China, the Congo, Gabon, Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico attended the launch meeting and provided inputs into the platform and the structure of its monthly reports.
Mr Vincent U, Acting President of Macao IPIM, said the release of the GTI report is part of an initiative to promote the legal and sustainable trade of forest products by utilizing Macao’s role as an international trade cooperation platform. He expressed gratitude to ITTO for co-hosting the launch event and workshop, which will generate more cooperation opportunities. He said Macao IPIM will continue to join forces with relevant organizations to create new possibilities for a wider range of businesses.
Dr Luo Xinjian, Secretary General of GGSC, said the work on the platform to date has focused on confirming focal points and enterprises in the pilot countries, platform-building, communications, GTI model design and optimization, online technical training, and report preparation and formulation. The continued support and collaboration of focal points and enterprises will be crucial to the success of the platform, she said.
Ms Carole Ogandagas, Central Director of Studies, Statistics and Programs in Gabon’s Ministry of Water and Forests, the Sea and the Environment, introduced the development of Gabon’s national strategy and policies for the industrialization of the timber sector, which is in line with the objective and expected outcomes of the GTI Platform. Timber enterprises in Gabon want to participate in the platform, including the GTI report, she said.
Dr Ivan Tomaselli, Vice President of the Brazilian Association of Mechanically Processed Timber (ABIMCI), said many Brazilian timber companies are interested in joining the GTI Platform. They expect it to improve the sharing of information and data on international wood supply and demand and to promote sustainable trade and partnerships in global green timber supply chains, he said.
Mr Chen Jianjun, Chairman of the Power Dekor Group, shared the case of a leading flooring company and its interest in, and the benefits of, participating in the GTI Platform. The world timber sector is facing numerous difficulties and challenges, said Mr Chen, especially supply-chain vulnerability and the prejudice and misunderstanding of the timber industry. He said that, as a founding member of GGSC and GTI platform, Power Dekor urges all stakeholders in the timber sector to collaborate in the post-pandemic era with a view to rebuilding stable, effective and resilient supply chains within a legal and sustainable framework.
The International Workshop on Global Timber Market Trends was held immediately following the release of the GTI report, with the participation of timber enterprises and associations, organizations, experts and scholars. Participants discussed opportunities and challenges for the global timber industry in the post-epidemic era and trends in global timber markets. They also debated how best to continue building the GTI Platform and maximizing its potential for information and data sharing and exchange in the timber sector.
Download the GTI report