The forest sector is driving growth in the world’s bioeconomy. To continue to grow and develop, the forest industry needs to be allowed to show its competitiveness.
Swedish forest industry is world class. Timber goods, paper and cardboard are the biobased products that form its current base. It annually contributes around SEK 130 billion to the Swedish economy and has about 70,000 employees.
Why competitiveness is important
The customers and competitors for the products from Swedish forests are found far beyond the country's borders. A large part of our production is exported and sold on highly competitive markets where pricing is often global. That is why it is important that Swedish forest industry should be able to operate on an equal footing as regards electricity prices, permit reviews, investment climate and taxation. Maintaining international competitiveness is thus essential for the safeguarding of jobs, exports and welfare.
Political decisions can both help or hinder competitiveness. Access to cost-efficient transport is vital for the forest industry. The raw materials we produce are transported considerable distances for processing. Our finished products are then sent all around the world.
The forest industry is an electricity-intensive sector. Consequently, energy supplies and electricity prices are important factors in competitiveness. The Swedish Forest Industries Federation would like to see a long-term and predictable energy policy. It thus welcomes political agreements that transcend blocks.
A sustainable sector
The more we use our forests, the more climate benefit they provide. This is especially true when oil-based products and services are replaced by our forest-based, renewable, raw materials. In addition, the more value we add to our Swedish raw materials in turning them into products and services on the global market, the greater the impact our forests can have on the Swedish economy as regards growth, employment and contributions in the form of tax revenues for Swedish welfare.
Our forests must, of course, be used sustainably. Today, the timber production goal and the goal of maintaining biological diversity are accorded equal importance. This creates good conditions for sustainable forestry. For Swedish forest industry, it is important that forestry operations, regulatory authorities and non-profit organisations try to reach increased consensus about targets for our forests and how first-class respect for the environment is to be ensured.