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Latvia's forestry exports continue to grow

Latvian forestry exports have continued to grow, new data reveals. According to the nation's Agriculture Ministry's Forest Department, some €1.7 billion's worth of forest goods left the country in the first ten months of last year, marking an increase of 9.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2013. The UK, Germany and Sweden were the main export markets for Latvia, accounting for 16.5 per cent, 10.6 per cent and 10.6 per cent of trade respectively. When it comes to imports, some €576.42 million was spent between January and October 2014, an increase of 18 per cent on the same period a year earlier. Lithuania produced most of the forestry goods brought into Latvia, accounting for 19.8 per cent of the total. Poland was the second most common trade partner, with an 11.6 per cent share. This research from the Agriculture Ministry follows on from figures released by the Central Statistical Bureau, and reported by Baltic Course, that revealed the manufacture and output of wood products in Latvia increased 8.2 per cent in the first ten months of 2014. Forestry is an important part of the Latvian economy and that of the Baltic region as a whole, meaning these figures are a welcome indication that the nation is moving in the right direction. Indeed, Ernst & Young has forecast Latvia will be the second fastest-growing economy in the eurozone this year, second only to its neighbour Lithuania. A sustainable future Latvia's minister of agriculture Janis Duklavs recently revealed he wants the nation to adopt a sustainable approach to forestry and other industries such as farming and fishing. Writing for The Parliament Magazine, he said the country's government "will turn our attention towards the viability of long-term agricultural production and the future-oriented management of natural resources". "The Latvian presidency will work on sustainable and responsible forest management, while continuing to promote the European model of forest management globally," Mr Duklavs stated. He said the sustainable forest management model based on the experience of EU member states will help to ensure the future of the sector and promote green growth. "Promotion of the European forest management model at a global level emphasises the importance of sustainable and responsible forestry management … The responsible and sustainable management of resources used in an effective way will strengthen a regional aspect and individual approach," the minister added. In June, the Latvian presidency is to organise an informal event that will bring together EU forest directors to discuss the industry and the results of the 11th UN forum on forests. Visitors will be given a chance to learn about Latvian forestry and the role it plays in both the nation's economy and culture. Source:Festforest Posted and edited by Hanbao News Department Contact: