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Gabon: Gabon timber sector




Industrialisation of the timber sector in full swing

The Gabonese Ministry for Water and Forests released a report on 23 May presenting results that are more than satisfactory for the timber sector since the ban on the export of lumber came into force in 2010.

Several sets of figures illustrate this improvement for the timber sector between 2009 and 2011:

  • The increase in the proportion of the timber sector in the GDP, which has risen from 4.5% to 8% in two years.
  • An increase of almost 40% in the number of wood processing plants. There are currently 114 transformation facilities compared to 81 in 2009.
  • A 30% rise in the volume of logs entering the factories, from 1,187,000 m3 in 2009 to 1,600,000 m3 in 2011.
  • The leap of 79% in the volume of wood transformed, from 464,000 m3 to 828,000 m3.
  • 71% growth in exports of products originating from the transformation of wood, with 669,000 m3 in 2011 compared to 391,000 m3 in 2009.
  • The spectacular 83% rise in the number of direct jobs in the timber sector, with an increase from 3,812 direct jobs in 2009 to 6,985 in 2011.

As a reminder, the ban on the export of raw logs was a decision taken by President Ali Bongo Ondimba with a view to launching the industrialisation of the timber sector. This was in order to promote domestic transformation and the export of value added products, to ensure better control of the exploitation of Gabon's natural resources and gain maximum benefits for the Gabonese people, particularly in terms of jobs.

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