• Home
  • Turning over a new leaf – Exploring new export opportunities at the 2024 Dubai WoodShow

Turning over a new leaf – Exploring new export opportunities at the 2024 Dubai WoodShow

East Africa has the potential to become a global hub for sustainably sourced, high-quality processed timber products. Its competitive pricing, strategic proximity to key markets, abundant timber resources, expanding processing capacity, and strong commitment to sustainability make the region well placed to supply high-value international markets, bringing a range of economic benefits for East Africans working in the sector.

One key barrier to accessing international export markets is a lack of awareness of the East African market and the opportunities it presents. Building on this, regional producers encounter challenges regarding selling power, networks, and market information.

Sitting at the nexus of innovation, investment and global collaboration, the Dubai WoodShow is filled with firms looking to make new connections and offered a great opportunity to address some of these barriers.

As part of our work to realise this opportunity, Gatsby attended the 2024 Dubai WoodShow with a group of private sector firms earlier this month. Participating firms — Green Resources (Busoga Forestry Company and Sao Hill Industries), The Sarrai Group (Nile Plywoods and Nile Fibreboard), The New Forests Company, and Tanganyika Plywood — felt that the Dubai Woodshow offered an exciting opportunity to showcase their products and attract new export markets.

As a group, the participating firms received more than 160 inquiries from interested buyers and investors in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

This is just one part of our Collective Export Markets Exploration Initiative where we support private sector actors in the region to access new potential export markets. The companies above are all a part of this initiative, and we are always looking for other suitable producers who would like to be a part of this work.

As a next step following the WoodShow, Gatsby will synthesize insights on the attractiveness of East African export markets and conduct initial bottom-up market research for the export region.

In the long run, the hope is that the Collective Export Markets Exploration Initiative can evolve into an East Africa producers’ consortium with proper continuation plans, with GA playing more of a supporting role.

To learn more about the Collective Export Markets Exploration Initiative, please find the brochure here!