The objective of the presented study is to analyse the international competitiveness of the European forest industry sector and that of Switzerland in particular using constant market share (CMS) analysis. The analysis is conducted based on bilateral trade data in monetary terms for the years 2000 to 2005. Timber commodities are grouped into two sectors (the wood sector and the paper sector) as well as into three processing levels (raw wood, semi-finished and finished products). CMS analysis is conducted on two aggregation levels: the forest industry sector on the whole and the forest products sector as part of the semi-finished products sector. The analyses of both aggregation levels show similar results. Most of the traditionally industrialized countries show only low export growth rates. Countries with fast growing economies in general, in particular those from South East Asia and most of the Eastern European countries show high growth rates as well as high positive competitiveness effects. A positive relationship can be identified between a country's timber export growth rate and its competitiveness effect. Within Europe, Eastern European countries are gaining competitive advantage over Middle and Western European countries. CMS analysis indicates low international competitiveness for the Swiss forest industry sector, whereas Austrian and German forestry industry sectors are characterized by higher values of international competitiveness.

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