An Enterprise of Trust, Quality and Commitment at Gabon SEZ [Sustainable Wood Working Hub & Investors’ Paradise]
Gabon SEZ has emerged as the West Central Africa’s timber processing and manufacturing hub. This SEZ has around 114 industrial customers from 18 countries which includes around 40 investors from India.
WOODPRO INDUSTRIES SARL, investor from Mumbai, India, have leased 3 Ha of industrial land for their timber processing operations in Nkok SEZ. WoodPro Industries was established in 2017 with an aim to utilize wood to its maximum. Spread in 3 hectares, WoodPro Industries is one of the first company inside GSEZ NKOK, Gabon to have the integrated units of Sawmill and Kiln Drying under one Roof. This investor has invested in fully automated SAWMILL MACHINES with a capacity to cut 72,000 cbm of logs and KILN DRYING machines with a capacity to dry 48,000 cbm of sawn timber annually. WoodPro has invested about 10 million USD till date and they are looking forward to invest further for the 3rdlevel transformation of wood.
Question 1: We congratulate you and your esteemed company for setting up the State of the Art Factory in SEZ at NKOK, Gabon. Readers would like to know more about products manufactured and exported by WoodPro.
Devesh Kabra: Thank you. In our Sawmill, we produce and cut many exotic Timber species especially Padauk, Tali, Azobe, Okoume, Beli and several other hardwoods. We take care of every detail and finesse to provide the best standards and quality to our global clients. In our Kiln Drying Plant we deal with moisture removal from the wood in less time. Thanks to our professional team and automated machines.
Gabon is a picturesque and natural resources rich country in West Central Africa. A privileged geographical location on the edge of the Congo Basin and bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea in North and Republic of Congo on East & South. Forestry has been one of the driving sectors of Gabon’s economy. Boasting the second highest forestry potential in Africa, Gabon’s forests covers 22.8 million hectares, i.e. 88% of the country’s land surface. The tropical forest offers enormous possibilities with a logging potential of 12.5 million hectares with more than 400 species including Okoumé, Okan, Padouk, Tali, Kevazingo. Gabon’s reserves of exploitable timber includes 130 million cubic meters of Okoumé, 25-35 million cubic meters of Ozigo, 20-30 million cubic meters of Ilomba, 15-25 million cubic meters of Azobé and 10-20 million cubic meters of Padouk. Other woods are Dibetou (Tigerwood or African Walnut), Movingui (Nigerian Satinwood) Mahogany, Kevazingo, Ebony and Zingana (Zebrano or Zebrawood). Gabon follows the Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) system by which the forests regenerate on their own and green cover does not get reduced and therefore timber processing is an attractive and sustainable business in Gabon.
Question 2: What had been the motivation to start a factory in Gabon?
Manish Jain: Well, we were looking to diversify and expand our business in Africa. We had heard a lot about Gabon and its vast natural resources. And when we came in Gabon in 2016, we found a cooperative and business friendly environment. Timber really took our attention due to its immense availability and sustainable forest management. After doing some research, we finally decided to set up WoodPro Industries in GSEZ, Gabon. We were also much motivated by the vision of the President Ali Bongo and his dedication to make Gabon the Gateway to Central Africa. It seems we are at the right place at the right time.
Question 3: Which are the relevant markets for your products? What are your future plans?
Devesh Kabra: We have a good clientele base in Europe, Middle East, India and South-East Asia. Because of the increasing demand, we are also looking forward to invest in Logistics and Logging Operations so as to fulfill the demands. We also have plans to expand our Sawmill and Kiln Drying. And soon, we are going to invest in 3rd level transformation of wood.
Question 4: We see your Tagline as Trust, Quality and Commitment. Can you brief us about it?
Jyoti Kabra: These qualities are important in every business, but these become much more relevant in international timber business. Our clients trust us completely by providing advance payment against orders and in return we provide them quality material within stipulated time period. Hence, Trust, Quality and Commitment are pillars of this business.
Question 5: Creating a new business in Gabon NKOK should have been a gigantic task. How did you manage the different approvals for plant installation? How do you rate the ease of doing business in NKOK’s SEZ?
Manish Jain: Setting up a new business in a foreign country is always a challenging. But we must be thankful to the Gabon Government and GSEZ team for their support and cooperation at every time. Especially GSEZ were very resourceful and with their support, it was easy to get all sort of approvals and swift company setup procedure.
Please contact: Mr. Devesh Kabra or Mr. Manish Jain for any commercial query at email@example.com