New Zealand’s forestry industry is celebrating news that China is to recognise NZ radiata pine in the new Chinese Building Code.

The decision, confirmed by the Chinese president during a visit to New Zealand, comes after two years of close working between the countries on the development of the Chinese National Standard of Code for Design of Timber Structures.

New Zealand’s Forest Industries Council says the decision opens up higher value markets in China for radiata pine. The country was the NZ forestry industry’s fifth largest export market (NZ$345m) in the 12 months to June 2003.

The industry will assist in preparing a handbook for the new code and formulate a market development programme to tap commercial opportunities.