Timber industry companies will be encouraged to explore internet networking opportunities during an international seminar in Switzerland.

The seminar, organised by the Swiss School of Engineering for the Wood industry at Meran, will look at purchasing, sales and marketing via the internet. It is designed to help companies affected by the poor economic situation and experiencing losses in turnover and customers.

School spokesperson Konstantin Brander said resources such as IHB, the International Timber Exchange, offered medium-sized companies the opportunity of establishing an international network with minimal costs. The exchange provides automatic translation and is visited by about 200,000 people each month.

Mr Brander said ease of use, choice of languages, focus on target groups, market volume and the number of participants were important criteria when considering joining internet exchanges.