Every year, the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section organises a meeting of its member states to discuss developments in the forest sector. Metsä2013 was held in Rovaniemi, Finland during European Forest Week. One full day was dedicated to forest products markets. There were also side events and field trips sponsored and attended by the forest products industries.

Representatives from the private sector, government agencies and forest-related organisations met during the ‘market discussions’ segment. Experts highlighted the state of markets in Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States and North America. A special presentation shed light on this tremendous growth and potential in Turkey.

The private sector’s message for policy makers and decision takers was "Grow more trees, use more wood". Despite being from many different forest product industries, countries and continents, there was wide-scale agreement. A simplified regulatory framework with greater predictability that recognises the lower carbon footprint of forest products compared with alternative materials was seen as the key ingredient for a thriving forest sector. Despite a difficult economic climate, forest-based industries are innovating and will be able to produce almost any product from wood that is currently made from oil, concrete and steel.

The Forest Products Annual Market Review 2012-2013 was launched at the meeting. Coupled with the Market Forecasts, country market reports and expert statements provided the basis for the Market Statement. All these are available from our website and we invite the reader to learn more about the particulars and details of all of the above by visiting www.unece.org/forests.html.

The dialogue between all parties was very productive. This meeting has not had such a high level of industry participation for many years. We hope this will be the start of a new and growing trend that can be repeated towards the end of 2014, when the Committee on Forests and Forest Products meets in Kazan, Russia.

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