KANGAROO Island Plantation Timbers says it is looking forward to working with state and federal authorities to promote trade between South Australia and Japan.

KIPT managing director John Sergeant recently returned from Tokyo where he and representatives of business partner Mitsui & Co attended a dinner marking the appointment of the South Australian Trade and Investment Commissioner to Japan.

Official guests included Governor of South Australia Hieu Van Le, Ambassador to Japan Richard Court and SA trade minister David Ridgway, along with the new Trade Commissioner Sally Townsend.

“KIPT looks forward to working with the Minister and Ms Townsend to further facilitate trade and investment between South Australia and Japan,” Mr Sergeant said.

“Mitsui is already a significant investor and trading partner in the timber industry through its involvement in the Portland export facility in the Green Triangle.”

According to a statement from KIPT, Mr Sergeant received a briefing from the Mitsui Forest Resources Division about the growing shortfall in supplies of hardwood chips needed by pulp mills in both Japan and China.

During Mr Sergeant’s visit to Japan, he met with Mr Masaru Namiki, a key figure behind the Portland timber export facility. Mr Namiki recently visited Kangaroo Island recently and is expected to contribute expertise and guidance in creating a materials handling facility at Smith Bay.