The Slovenia Times

Govt to step up support for wood processing industry


Ljubljana - Economy Ministry State Secretary Simon Zajc told the Days of the Slovenian Wood Industry on Wednesday that the government would step up support for the wood industry to help improve the sector's sales revenue and increase the number of green jobs.

Over the last five years companies in the wood processing and furniture sectors have increased their sales revenues by 24% to EUR 1.3 billion, value added per employee has risen by 23% to EUR 38,511, and profits have gone up by 46% to EUR 59 million, Zajc noted.

He announced that the ministry would work to increase the amount of wood processed in Slovenia to three million cubic metres per year, increase the number of green jobs to around 15,000, and boost the industry's annual sales revenue to EUR 2.5 billion. Meanwhile, exports of unprocessed roundwood should be reduced, he added.

The state will promote this in various ways, including with additional funding. This year the sector will receive almost EUR 30 million. In the last cohesion period, the government allocated EUR 64 million to the sector, and in the next period it aims to double this to EUR 134 million, the state secretary said.

The event heard that after years of stagnation in the industry, when wood was seen as just an energy source and logs as an export commodity, the sector was now experiencing rapid growth but still needed government help.

Forests cover almost 60% of the country, making Slovenia the third most forested country in Europe. The annual increase in timber, nine million cubic metres, is one of the highest in Europe in relative terms.

The Days of the Slovenian Wood Industry, which started today and will run until tomorrow, are organised by the investment promotion agency Spirit Slovenija and the Economy Ministry.


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