New Zealand-based forest industry consultancy DANA to host timberland investment conference in Kiev, Ukraine, and field trips to forestry/wood-processing/log export operations on March 17-19, 2014

ROTORUA, New Zealand , December 16, 2013 (press release) – Ukraine has been in the international media spotlight over the last few weeks as the apparent tussle between Europe to the West and Russia to the East plays out: First at an EU political meeting in Lithuania on the EU’s interest in expanding its influence in Eastern Europe; and then on the streets of Kiev as the people of Ukraine voice their opinion, for a “favoured status” decision of Ukraine to head West, or East, or to stay in the middle.

It is little wonder that both blocs are very keen to have Ukraine inside their sphere of influence. Ukraine is the largest country in Europe: at 233,000 square miles it is the almost size of Texas, 70% bigger than Germany and almost five times the size of the UK.

Ukraine has a population of 46 million well educated, tech savvy people who are rapidly making up their own minds where their future might lie.

Ukraine has some of the most fertile soils in the world, with a highly developed domestic and foreign managed agricultural industry. It has more than seven million hectares of forests, reportedly the 9th largest area in Europe after it takes the 9th place in total forest area after Russia, Sweden, Finland, France, Spain, Germany, Turkey and Italy. Species range from the high quality softwoods of Scots pine and Norway spruce to hardwood oak and beech.

While there has been foreign investment in agriculture for some years, foreign entry in its forests has not relay started, and into wood processing has been sporadic – although major new investment initiatives in wood processing have been announced/made in 2013.

Foreign investors are involved with wood exports – especially to the burgeoning business of shipping logs to China (volumes are up 230% in 2013 over 2012); and we expect major increases in processed wood products from 2014.

New Zealand based company DANA Limited has followed the progress of institutional timberland investment for 25 years; as more and more countries are targeted by institutions and fund managers from North America, Europe, Latin America and Australia for timberland investments. Early movers into “new” regions generally earned super returns: Including New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Uruguay and the Baltic countries. Will first mover investors in the international timberland investment arena in other Eastern Europe also reap superior returns?

And -- will Ukraine be next? ---- how long will it take for the government to reform investing laws?

On 17 March 2014, DANA is organising a timberland investment conference in Kiev, with presentations also on agri-land investments and wood processing and exports.
This one day meeting will be preceded by a one day optional “tourist” visit to Chernobyl on Sunday 16 March. Following the Conference DANA is organising two separate one day field trips. One day to forestry/wood processing operations in the Kiev region and one day to Odessa to view the major log export port plus the port of Mykolaiv where woodchips and biomass are exported.

Please visit www.timberlandconference.com/ukraine2014 to see the planned program and speakers, to register for the Conference and field trips, to book accommodation or to view the sponsorship packages.


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