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Manufacture of wood and paper products

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NACE 2002 - 20 Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials
NACE 2002 - 21 Manufacture of pulp, paper and paper products

The development of the woodworking industry is, to a large degree, affected by the situation in construction where no major growth is expected in the near future. On the contrary, the implications of the economic crisis, which will severely impact upon construction, will pose a threat for the woodworking industry. A large number of jobs in manufacturing are likely to be eliminated in 2009.  

However, over the longer term the woodworking industry should see a somewhat lower decrease in employment. Wood as a renewable and environmentally safe resource will not face dramatic changes in terms of output and demand. At present the industry is characterised by a low level of capital intensity, and it si therefore possible to expect that a new flow of investment will result in decreased employment while the output will remain the same or grow. Consequently, demand for the workforce will slightly decline over the long term. Replacing old technological equipment with new facilities will save labour, but this will toughen the requirements for the workers ’ skills to operate them. 

The structure of wood products will also change. A shift in focus is expected from the current predominance of less demanding and cheaper products (e.g. sawmill products) to more technology-intensive products such as wooden structures, veneer, particleboard panels, etc. This change will call for an increased level of expertise in many occupations and higher demands in terms of involvement of workers in the innovation process. Moreover, there will be a growing demand for technologists who will prepare new manufacturing technologies, test them and launch new products.

The paper industry has good prospects in terms of both output and employment, as the consumption of paper in the CR will continue to grow in years to come. The comsumption is very low as compared with developed EU countries, and imports are likely to cover only part of the expected growth. As with the woodworking industry, the paper industry is now focusing on less demanding producs such as wrapping materials, although the proportion of more technology-intensive graphic papers is increasing.  The folowing years are likely to see a decline in the production of wrapping materials – both because it will no longer be so profitable to export them and because domestic demand for them will decrease in view of the expected decrease in industrial output.

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