The recent ETTF General Assembly took place in Vienna on October 13, where several important decisions were made. One of the key outcomes was the election of Nils Olaf Petersen, from GD Holz, as the new general secretary starting from 2024. Petersen will be taking over from Thomas Goebel, who has held the position until now.
As is customary, the assembly also included a round table discussion on market forecasts. In Germany, there are concerning signs of a slowdown in the construction and renovation sector. This is evident from the negative variations in turnover across various segments such as sawn timber, panels, building elements, planed products, flooring, and garden products. Additionally, the shortage of skilled labor continues to pose a challenge in the industry.
Meanwhile, in Belgium, the wood industry has experienced a significant decline, with turnover falling by 17%. The production of panels has also stagnated in the country. These developments highlight the challenges faced by the sector in Belgium and call for a closer examination of the factors contributing to this decline.
The ETTF General Assembly provided an opportunity for industry leaders to discuss these issues and explore potential solutions. The round table discussions were focused on finding ways to address the slowdown in the German construction and renovation sector, as well as the declining wood industry in Belgium.
One of the key topics of discussion was the shortage of skilled labor in Germany. This issue has been a persistent challenge for the construction and renovation sector, impacting the overall productivity and growth of the industry. Finding innovative ways to attract and retain skilled workers emerged as a priority for the participants.
In addition to the labor shortage, the assembly also examined the impact of changing market conditions on the wood industry in Belgium. The 17% decline in turnover and stagnation in panel production indicate a need for a comprehensive analysis of the factors contributing to this situation. Participants discussed potential strategies to revitalize the industry and stimulate growth.
The ETTF General Assembly serves as an important platform for industry professionals to exchange ideas, share best practices, and collaborate on finding solutions to common challenges. The discussions held during the assembly provide valuable insights into the current state of the European timber trade and help shape future strategies.
Looking ahead, the newly elected general secretary, Nils Olaf Petersen, will play a crucial role in leading the ETTF and driving its agenda. With his extensive experience in the industry, Petersen is well-positioned to address the challenges faced by the European timber trade and work towards its sustainable growth.
The ETTF General Assembly in Vienna was a significant event for the European timber trade. It highlighted the need for proactive measures to address the slowdown in the German construction and renovation sector, as well as the decline in the wood industry in Belgium. With the election of Nils Olaf Petersen as the new general secretary, the ETTF is poised to tackle these challenges head-on and pave the way for a resilient and thriving timber trade in Europe.