New Zealand’s forestry industry has announced ambitious plans to become the country’s top export earner by 2025.

The Forest Industries Council (FIC) is aiming to earn NZ$20bn a year, provide jobs for 60,000 people – 250,000 indirectly – and contribute 14% to gross domestic product. Last year the industry earned NZ$5bn and contributed 4% to GDP.

The FIC says the industry must improve its research and development to achieve its goal. It must also change from a cost-focused commodity sector to a more profitable, value-driven business.

The New Zealanders say their plantation forestry industry has natural advantages over competitors and is widely recognised as being sustainably managed.