It is estimated that about 40% of Gabon’s Chinese factories have ceased production. In some cases, the plywood plants still operating in Gabon, Congo and Cameroon cut production to 70% of pre-pandemic levels.
Chinese suppliers realize that when the consumer economy will recover from the impact of the pandemic, they will face new players in India, the Middle East, Vietnam, the Philippines and South America that need to diversify their sales and will face more competition.
The investments made by the Asian companies, in particular, the Chinese companies in the forestry sector in Gabon over the past fifteen years, appear each day more and more important. These companies are indeed specialized in the buyout of multinationals, permit or to Gabonese capital and companies in the business of “farming” with forest concessions of national operators.
Chinese-owned companies have become major players in the industry Gabonese wood. Thus, they are the first operators of the Gabonese wood with a total area of 2.84.483 ha or 25.11% of the forest area operating in that country; in addition, they are, with their established wood industries 15.29% in Gabon, the third group of operators in this segment of activity and also are the top exporters of Gabonese wood with an annual average of logs over 1 million m3 (representing more than 70% of the wood Gabonese exported).
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