|Sunday, 2 June 2002||Arrival of guests||Berlin|
|Monday, 3 June 2002||
|Tuesday, 4 June 2002||
|Wednesday, 5 June 2002||
|Thursday, 6 June 2002||
Ten years after reunification, the Federal Republic of Germany has unique experience in addressing and solving transition issues arising from integrating the economies and societies of the new federal states (the former GDR) into existing structures of the Federal Republic. In the forest and forest products sector this has led to major institutional changes, considerable public and private investment and the establishment of some of the largest and most modern forest products plants in Europe.
Against this background the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture (BMVEL) in Bonn, Germany, had offered to experts in the forest and forest products sector, through the ECE Timber Committee, the opportunity to view these achievements and to discuss the outcome.
22 participants from 10 countries (Sweden, United Kingdom, Romania, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Denmark, Switzerland, Russia, Slovenia and Germany) accepted this offer and participated in a four-day technical excursion. The delegates were mainly representatives from the industry and science community. The secretariat of the UN Economic Commission for Europe was also represented.
The excursion started on 3 June 2002 in the German capital Berlin with a series of speeches on the aid schemes in the New Länder, privatisation in the forestry sector, the development and integration of timber markets and the repercussions on the trade flows of Germany with the transformation countries. The meeting was chaired by Professor Thoroe from the Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products. Please find enclosed in enclosures 1 to 4 the speeches in their respective languages.
The following day we visited the sawmill of the Klausner Nordic Timber company. The mill is located at the sea port of Wismar (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) and is equipped with one of the most modern sorting tables of the world. The total capacity amounts to a sawing volume of some 1.3 million cubic metres. The coniferous roundwood (85 % spruce, 15% pine) is sawn on two chipper chanter lines of the Linck company. This project has meanwhile led to follow-up investment of other timber companies in the region (i.a. wood-based panels industry and glulam timber construction industry). This way a wood working and wood processing centre has emerged which is considerable by international standards and which has positive effects on the structural and job situation not only of the port, but equally of the City of Wismar and the neighbouring rural areas. The roundwood is supplied by the entire Baltic Sea region, in particular Scandinavia, Russia and the Baltic states. Some 800,000cubic metres of sawnwood are produced, around half of it for the domestic market.
In the afternoon there was a presentation on forestry units as instruments of cross-company cooperation of forest owners in Netzeband, Brandenburg. Since forestry units, too, frequently do not reach the necessary size to secure good opportunities on the timber market, they united with some private forest enterprises and set up an association of forestry companies. The chairman of the association explained how this association can achieve a better coordination of the wood harvest and timber sales. Further activities include member management, the provision of wood and the procurement of machinery and equipment.
On 5 June 2002 we had a morning visit to the Krontex company in Heiligengrabe. The plant was established in 1993 and has developed into one of the largest and most modern MDF manufacturers in Europe since then. Because of the location a total of 385 jobs were created in the plant and roughly twice that number in similar and/or related industries. The capacity of the MDF manufacturing facilities has now reached some 400,000cubic metres per year.
There is also a strong expansion of the production of laminate flooring. The capacity has been expanded to almost 40million square metres. According to their own information, Kronotex therefore is among the global market leaders in the laminate flooring sector. The sales markets are Europe, Asia and the U.S. Since recently, OSB panels have also been manufactured. Kronotex uses nothing but fresh forest timber.
In the afternoon we visited the Haacke company, a manufacturer of prefabricated houses in Neu-Plötzin (Brandenburg). Based on the historical development of this old-established company all home automation trades like electrical, sanitary and heating engineering were developed into core businesses of the company. More than 100 workers are employed in the operation which was newly constructed some 10 years ago (the company headquarters is in Celle). When choosing the site the metropolitan area of Berlin and the surrounding Brandenburg region played a decisive role. Meanwhile some 2,000 houses have been constructed in Berlin and in Eastern Germany, most of them in the Neu-Plötzien plant.
The last day was dedicated to visiting the Chorin monastery near Eberswalde. The monastery is located at the heart of the Schorfheide-Chorin biosphere reserve and is one of the most famous buildings of Northern German gothic brick architecture. Well-known founders of silviculture and forestry policy are also buried in the monastery’s cemetery (Dengler, Kienitz). After the following guided tour of the Niederfinow ship lift and a transfer to Potsdam the excursion was concluded by a visit of the park of Sanssouci Castle and of the Neues Palais.
- Aid schemes in the New Länder (Rolf Brenner)
- Management and privatisation of areas under forest management, private forest management in the new Länder (Herbert Wötzel) - Germany only
- The process of reunification and its implications for the forest and forest industry sector (Matthias Dieter)
- Tables on trade flows (Prof. Dr. Carsten Thoroe)
Information of the Federal Ministery of Economics and Technology on aid schemes:
- Policy areas
- Economic policy
- Regional policy
Information on forestry and forest-based industries:
- Overview of companies, workers, sales
- Private internet page on forest industries
- Federal Ministery of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture
- Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products