Opening Speech
Time:2013-09-16Source:China Paper Association
At The 3rd Asian Pulp And Paper Industry Conference For Sustainable Development
  • Qian Guijing,  President , China Paper Association
Distinguished guests, fellow entrepreneurs, ladies and gentlemen, good morning!
A gorgeous golden October arrives in a serene and picturesque Xiamen. In this beautiful sunny and pleasant season, the associations of pulp and paper industry in Asian countries and regions get together in this coastal and graceful beach of "Garden on the sea" to address the issues on the future development of Asia pulp and paper industry. This is a significant moment and event for the industry. Please allow me, on behalf of China Paper Association, to express our warm welcome and sincere thanks as well as heartfelt greetings to the guests for the 3rd Asian Pulp and Paper Industry Conference for Sustainable Development.
The conference comes at a critical time when the whole world is facing with an economic malaise. I believe our view exchange about the development of pulp and paper industry in each nation and region, and our investigation for countermeasures for sustainable development of Asian pulp and paper industry will help with the mutual understanding across the industries in the area, promoting regional cooperation and strengthening the friendship. This Conference will indeed help improve the communication between the associations to achieve a win-win cooperation.
We hope this conference will be able to provide an opportunity for future collaboration between the members in an in-depth investigation on the common interests that concern the industry such as markets, resources, and energy so to realize a mutual prosperity of Asian pulp and paper industry.
I would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt appreciation for the kind support and cooperation from the fellow associations such as Chinese Taipei Paper Industry Association (CTPIA), Indonesian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPPA), Japan Paper Association (JPA), Korea Paper Manufacturers' Association (KPMA), Myanmar Pulp and Paper Industry Association (MPPIA), Malaysia Pulp and Paper Manufacturers Association (MPPMA), The Thai Pulp and Paper Industries Association (TPPIA) and Vietnam Pulp and Paper Association (VPPA).
Present Situation Of and Challenge to China's Paper Industry
Driven by China's rapid economic development, Chin’s paper industry has seen a leap-forward development. As of 2008, China's paper industry has successfully and historically found a way out of short supply in the domestic paper market, realizing a fundamental balance between total production and consumption. In the past two years, after reaching the balance between supply and demand, China’s paper industry has seen a slight oversupply in the market. In 2011, China’s total paper output has reached 99.3 million tons. This year, it is expected to exceed 100 million tons, becoming the largest paper and paperboard producing country in the world.
At present, China's paper industry comes across an important era of transformation in terms of development pattern, structural adjustment and optimization, quality improvement as well as an industrial upgrading and progressing to a high-end development level.
On one hand, having realized a supply / demand balance, China’s paper industry is, with the pace of development slowing down, on its way gradually back to a rational and stable development from an abnormal developmental pattern. The industry is now speeding up the transformation, from a development model that is based on the simple capacity expansion gradually to that of structural adjustment and market orientation, thus proceeding by rational investment to balancing the denotation and connotation in the growth. On the other hand, the industry faces the mounting pressures and challenges coming from both resource and environmental constraints. This will require the industry in an urgent manner to materialize a new level of the breakthrough in the aspects of resources, environment and industry structure.
Breakthrough In Debottlenecking In Aspects Of Resources, Environment Constraints And Industry Structure
At this moment, resources, environmental constraints and industry structure are of the three bottlenecks that faces the development of China's paper industry. Obviously, the industry can hardly grow sustainably without these issues being well addressed.
1.Resource for the Raw Material
The issue of the resource is about the fiber and raw material. The "Twelveth Five-Year Plan For The Development of China Paper Industry” has identified an approach to multivariate structure of raw materials. This approach includes "a positive use of domestic and foreign resources, the expedition in the progress of vertical forestry-paper integration project,  the increase of furnish percentage with wood fiber, the expansion in recovery and utilization of the domestic waste paper, the scientific and reasonable utilization of non-wood fiber as the raw material" . The objective is by the end of 2015, the material structure of China's paper industry between wood pulp, recovered fiber and non-wood fiber will achieve a proportion of 24.3%, 64% and 11.7% respectively. Based on the current assumption, however, we have to confess that the objective is harder to reach than said.
By 2011, the proportion of wood fiber furnish in China’s paper making is 24%, among which only 9% is homemade. Combined with the import volume of recovered fiber, the dependency of China’s raw material on the overseas supply is over 40%. With the challenge from the rising forest chemical industry and biomass energy, the wood fiber will increasingly become a scarce resource. Raw material will be a mounting concern among the global paper producers, particularly in Asia.
In 2011, China’s total proportion of recovered fiber used in paper making has reached 62%, where the proportion of domestically collected recovered fiber is 38%. At the present time, the domestic recovery rate remains at a low level of about 44.6% only. Consequently, one of the key jobs in the improvement of raw material self-sufficiency is to increase the domestic recovery rate, which is also a tough job. To achieve it, it is a must to count on the combined inputs by the entire industry and further, all walks of the society. Now a source limit of the overseas supply can be certainly foreseen. Therefore the only option left for China is to fully exploit and make good use of the domestic source.
Non-wood fiber is one of the unique characteristics of China paper industry. For total annual capacity of non-wood fiber, China has about 12 million tons by the year of 2011. This proportion plays a crucial role in easing the short supply of the homemade materials and reducing China’s dependency on the imported fibers, both virgin and recovered. However the issues like a clean production, quality improvement and the comprehensive utilization all remain as challenges to the industry. They are the also keys to a proper but scientific utilization for the non-wood fiber.
2.Environmental Issues
The key of the environmental issues is the effluent discharge. Chinese government has published by far a global-wise most stringent discharge standard, which has raised the bar to a higher level for China’s paper industry. To meet the upgraded discharge standard, China’s paper industry has to advance technological progress, develop new production processes and equipment. At the same time, it is also imperative for the industry to correspond actively to the reinforced demand by the government in removing the obsolete capacity, efficiently control the discharge of major pollutants in paper making process in order to qualify for the new standard and to develop in a sustainable way.
3.Structural Composition of the Industry
The irrational industry structure remains as an outstanding problem for China’s paper industry. This involves the aspects of raw material, product mix, enterprise organizational structure etc. Despite a rapid development for 30 years, the issue of unbalanced structure has grown to be less addressed. The imbalance remains in the area of raw material with higher dependency on the overseas supply of high grade material, which is 40% in 2011; In the area of product portfolio with about 40% being low-to-medium grades; In the area of organizational structure with 83.4% of the paper producers being at small scales; In the area of technology and equipment with big weight of outdated capacity, leaving only 30% for the high end production such as graphic paper, household paper, specialty paper and paperboard; In the area of bigger gaps with a weakened balance of industrial layout across the regions in the east, middle and the west. A pickup in structural adjustment is a key crucial measure for China’s paper industry in its transformation of the growth pattern and its solution finding for developmental complications. It is also the only way out for China’s paper industry in its optimization of the industrial structure and its overall harmonic growth.
China’s paper industry is facing huge but growing pressures from the out-of-date high growth pattern in spite of its performance as to drive the industry growing in past 30 years, from the environmental constraints as well as from the resource scarce. All these are also severely challenging the industry.  On its way to a sustainable growth, China paper industry has to answer the question sheet well about a balanced development between the growth pace verses the issues in aspects of resourceful shortage, environmental constraints and optimization of the product mix etc.
Key to a Sustainable Development for China’s Paper Industry
First, paper industry needs to become a recycling economy. This will involve the promotion of forestry-paper integration project and the progress in building raw material base. The industry has to enforce the recovery of used paper, enhance utilization of renewable resources and raise the proportion of recycled fiber in the paper furnish while ensuring the quality.  It also requires the industry to stress the recovery of alkali and white mud, to reutilize in full of the production waste and sludge, to adopt updated water recycling technology so that the paper industry can showcase in full of its industrial recyclability.
Second, the paper industry needs to become a low-carbon producer. The progress itself of the forestry-paper integration project and the building of raw materials base is a CO2 absorber. This will definitely help balance the CO2 released during the paper production in partial, thus reducing the carbon release as a whole. On the other hand, the industry needs to emphasize on the energy conservation. This will require the industry to improve the technology for biomass energy production as well as its utilization proportion in the paper production. In order to achieve a new level of biomass energy production, the industry needs to address issues in the area of raising the extraction rate of black liquor, of improving the thermal efficiency of the alkali recovery boiler and in the area of full utilization of methane out of the production plus the incineration of the sludge from the raw material and the production waste.
Thirdly, the industry needs to emphasize on the clean production and standard discharge, improving the public image on the industry. Paper industry is not a pollutant. What paints the industry as a contaminator is a fact that obsolete production process and equipments are still in use, and further, because of the poor sense of the corporate responsibility on the environmental protection. Therefore, China’s paper industry needs to reinforce the effort in eliminating outdated capacity, closing the polluting capacity and mills that are small but unable to qualify for the discharge standard.
China's paper industry is in an era of a critical strategic transition in its development. In order to become a green but harmonic industry between environment and benefit with sustainability and enriching resource, the industry needs to emphasize with full strength on reorganizing the industrial structure, on reforming the growth pattern, on lifting the overall quality of the industry, on advancing in a recyclable, low-carbon producing and clean manner.
Stable growth of China's paper industry
During the "Twelveth Five-Year Plan", China paper industry will move forward following a guideline of adjusting the structure, of fortifying the transformation of the growth pattern, of showcasing the industry with its strength in “low-carbon producer, green and recyclability”, and of reshaping the industry with less energy consumption, less pollution as well as less discharge. The industry will strive with its best for significant breakthroughs in the key areas like resource, environment and industrial structure that are to ensure a healthy growth of the paper industry. The industry will seek a path for a smooth but strong, rational and stable growth with competitive edges.