More than 40 senior forest sector representatives are heading to Asia from Dec. 5 to 14, 2018, to grow markets for B.C. wood products.
They will explore opportunities and strengthen relationships in China, Japan and South Korea — three of B.C.’s largest markets for wood products.
“Our government is committed to creating B.C. jobs by growing and diversifying markets for our quality wood products both at home and overseas, and reducing reliance on the U.S. market,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “This trade mission supports our commitment to creating a sustainable economy that works for all British Columbians.”
This is B.C.’s largest-ever forest sector trade mission to Asia and includes an increased number of Indigenous participants. Other delegates include those from industry, research and labour. They will meet formally and informally with customers, senior government officials and industry representatives to examine market trends that will shape future demand for wood products and opportunities to raise the value of products. They will tour prefabrication plants in Japan and demonstration projects in China and visit the first public sector wood-frame construction community housing development project in South Korea.
“B.C.’s renewable forest products are in demand, providing carbon-friendly building materials for the world,” said Susan Yurkovich, president and CEO, BC Council of Forest Industries. “As a leader in developing high-quality wood products, countries around the globe are looking to B.C. for our building materials and expertise. This trade mission to Asia provides a valuable opportunity to continue to diversify B.C.’s markets.”
In Japan, the mission will focus on ways to expand the use of wood in non-residential construction and hybrid building systems, and encourage more high-value applications. Delegates will recognize the past, by acknowledging 40 years of support from the Tokacho 2×4 Home Builders Association, and the future, by celebrating the commercial adaptation of an innovative B.C.-developed midply shear wall to advance seismic resistance.
Three memoranda of understanding (MOU) will be signed in China to advance the use of wood construction with particular emphasis on government co-operation initiatives. Delegates will participate in the fourth annual Sino-Canada Wood Conference. In Korea, the mission includes signing of an MOU with the Korean Institute of Architects and participation in a seismic design symposium co-hosted by the institute and Canada Wood Korea.
“So many of our activities on this mission will show the many benefits of wood products and innovative building systems to meet specific environmental and market development needs to diversify our products to each of these important markets,” said Bruce St. John, president, Canada Wood Group.
Trade missions are a cornerstone of provincial-federal-industry market development efforts in Asia. Government-to-government relationships allow trade relationships to flourish in key markets like China, Japan and South Korea.
- China is B.C.’s second-largest market for wood products. Softwood lumber exports in 2017 totalled more than $1 billion.
- Japan is B.C.’s third-largest market for wood products. Softwood lumber exports in 2017 totalled more than $738 million.
- Korea is B.C.’s fifth-largest market for wood products. Softwood lumber exports in 2017 totalled more than $73 million.
- In 2017, B.C.’s forest sector directly supported over 57,000 workers and their families in more than 140 B.C. communities.
For more on BC forestry, visit our Forestry page.