Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Weyerhaeuser-China Forestry Agreement Signing
October 31, 2003
I’d like to start by welcoming Madam Jiang to our great state of Washington.
Madame Jiang is the sister of former President Jiang Zemin. She is a graduate of the Anhui Agriculture College, trained at the Research Institute of Wood at the Chinese Academy of Forestry, and holds the title of professor.
She has published eight books and has won numerous awards for her research. In 1998, she was named President of the Chinese Academy of Forestry.
I’d also like to acknowledge several members of the Academy and other dignitaries who traveled from China to be with us today.
And from Weyerhaeuser, I’d like to welcome:
· Steve Rogel, chairman, president and CEO;
· George Weyerhaeuser, Jr., Senior Vice President of Technology;
· Mark Hogans, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs;
· And many other executives who played a role in this effort.
And of course, Martha Choe, our great director of the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development, is also with us today.
We are here today to sign a very historic agreement. One that will solidify an already-strong partnership between the Weyerhaeuser Company and the country of China.
Indeed, this is good news for Weyerhaeuser, China and the state of Washington. I am proud that our trade mission to China earlier this month helped finalize this agreement.
Weyerhaeuser and China have a long history of working together:
· In 1972, after the U.S. resumed trade relations with China, Weyerhaeuser was the only U.S. forest products company invited to the Canton Trade Fair.
· In 1984, Weyerhaeuser opened an office in Beijing.
· In 1997, I participated in a ceremony for Weyerhaeuser’s Shanghai container plant, which was under construction.
· In 1998, Weyerhaeuser opened its Shanghai cardboard container plant.
· And in 1999, the company opened another container plant in Wuhan.
This agreement we’re signing today signals a new era of cooperation and teamwork.
Under the agreement, Weyerhaeuser will work with the Chinese Academy of Forestry to:
· Share ideas on technology and international forestry practices;
· Collaborate on research, including research on introducing eucalyptus forests in southern China and the end use of products from such forests;
· Evaluate techniques to reduce sedimentation and improve water quality in China’s forests; and
· Improve environmental management.
China is facing a tremendous challenge to re-forest massive areas of barren land, and it’s also embarking on an aggressive program to plant forests where none currently exist.
This agreement today will help begin the process of addressing those needs. And I can’t think of a better partner for China in this reforestation effort than Weyerhaeuser – the world’s No.1 tree-growing company.
It truly is a “natural fit.” Weyerhaeuser is the worldwide leader in forestry and environmental stewardship. And I am confident this joint effort will be a huge success.
I congratulate the Weyerhaeuser Company and the government of China. We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership.
Now I’d like to introduce Steve Rogel, chairman, president and CEO of Weyerhaeuser.
Thank you Steve. Now it is my pleasure to introduce Madame Jiang Zehui, president of the Chinese Academy of Forestry.
Thank you Madame Jiang.
Now, it’s time for us to sign this historic agreement.
[Trio signs agreement]