Sunday 07 September, 2003
By GARRY SHEERAN
When Stephen Jacobi packs his bags tonight in readiness for the flights tomorrow that will take him to the white sands and blue sea of the Mexican island of Cancun, it will not be the trappings of a holiday in the sun that are uppermost in his mind.
Rather, it will be a piece of paper representing a breakthrough by New Zealand trade negotiators - including Jacobi himself - that holds new promise for communities in places such as Northland, the East Coast and Otago/Southland where forestry plays a huge part in employment and economic growth prospects.
Beyond that, it holds the prospect of helping transform a $5 billion turnover industry employing 23,000 New Zealanders into a $20b industry employing 60,000 people in a little over two decades.