China's forestry sector has seen continuous expansion in recent years, an official with the National Forestry and Grassland Administration said Tuesday.
The gross output of the industry in the first three quarters of the year hit 5.13 trillion yuan (about 730.5 billion U.S. dollars), up 5.3 percent year on year, said the head of the administration Zhang Jianlong.
Thanks to a slew of measures that enhanced the cultivation of resources and accelerated development, China has seen a significant expansion in the forestry sector with improved development quality, Zhang said.
In 2018, 1.6 billion eco-tourism trips were made to forests, bringing in 1.5 trillion yuan for the industry.
China's foreign trade of forest products in 2018 totaled 160.3 billion U.S. dollars, making it the largest consuming and trading nation of wood forest products, data showed.
"The forestry industry's rapid development has facilitated the adjustment of the rural economic structure, expanded employment and increased the income of forest workers, and boosted the targeted poverty alleviation efforts in impoverished regions," Zhang said.
The country has over 50 million people working in the forestry sector, with some earning 20 percent or even as much as 60 percent of their income from forest products.
More efforts will be made to nurture strategic emerging industries such as forestry biomass energy and forestry carbon sink, and push for the deepened integration between forest and grassland resources with other sectors including tourism, culture and education, according to Zhang.