Premier Christy Clark today announced that government is investing $8.4 million to build new markets for B.C. wood products at home and in major markets around the globe, including China and India.
"Diversification means better protection for B.C.'s economy - that's why your government has worked hard to diversify our export markets over the past decade," said Premier Christy Clark. "This approach has paid dividends. During that time, our wood exports to China alone have increased by 3,500 per cent to $1.4 billion in 2012, and become a significant driver of economic activity and job creation here."
"Our Government is pleased to be working in partnership with the Province of British Columbia to grow markets for Canadian wood products and secure jobs in forest dependent communities," said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister for Natural Resources. "Through the Expanding Market Opportunities Program, we are helping Canada's forest industry expand export opportunities in traditional as well as emerging offshore markets, such as Europe, China, India and the Middle East."
Nine associations, which operate market development programs in China, Japan, South Korea, the United States and other major markets, will receive $6.0 million from the Province for international market development. Those associations include:
- APA - The Engineered Wood Association
- B.C. Shake and Shingle Association
- BC Wood Specialties Group
- Canada Wood Group
- Coast Forest Products Association
- Council of Forest Industries
- Western Red Cedar Lumber Association
- Wood Pellet Association of Canada
- Wood Products Council
"We have to continue building and maintaining our international markets," said Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Steve Thomson. "This is because sales overseas help keep our sawmills open and protect the thousands of jobs that depend on B.C.'s forest economy."
The remaining $2.4 million is for B.C.'s Wood First program, which promotes the use of wood as a preferred building material in mid-rise and non-residential construction, and advances B.C.'s reputation as a global leader in wood innovation.
Funds are being distributed through Forestry Innovation Investment (FII), the Crown agency responsible for developing and diversifying markets for B.C. forest products. Since 2003, FII has been partnering with industry and the federal government to grow the markets for B.C. wood products internationally.
"The partnership between the Province, industry and federal government has been very effective at building a market for B.C. wood in China and other growing economies. It's also a good deal for taxpayers because for every dollar the Province invests, it generates $2.80 of activity through matching dollars," said Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.
Since 2003, FII has established a major presence in China, with an office in Shanghai. In 2012, FII opened an office in India to pursue emerging opportunities to export B.C. wood products there.
- B.C. is the world's largest exporter of softwood lumber products, with 80 per cent of industry output sold outside the province.
- More than 40 per cent of regional economies across B.C. are dependent on forestry.
- In 2012, B.C. exported $6.2 billion in wood products, representing about half (54.5 per cent) of total Canadian exports of wood products.
- Currently there are about 200 wood-frame, mid-rise buildings being designed or built throughout B.C.
Forestry Innovation Investment: www.bcfii.ca
Naturally Wood: www.naturallywood.com
Two backgrounders follow.
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
2013-14 Funded Market Development Programs
Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) manages an annual, competitive Call for Proposals process to fund market development programs and Wood First activities. For 2013-14, the following organizations will receive funding to undertake the activities listed below.
APA - The Engineered Wood Association
- Obtain regulatory approval to expand use of Oriented Strand Board in building construction in Japan, and promote new uses to builders and developers.
B.C. Shake and Shingle Association
- Promote B.C.'s Western Red Cedar Shakes & Shingles in the U.K., France and the U.S.
BC Wood Specialties Group
- Develop market opportunities for value-added wood products in Europe, Asia, the U.S. and domestically.
- Host the 10th annual Global Buyers Mission in Whistler to connect international wood products buyers with B.C. value-added wood product manufacturers.
Canada Wood Group
- Continue market access and market development programs in China, Japan, Korea and Europe.
- Develop innovative building solutions to expand the use of SPF and coastal species in non-residential applications.
- Monitor and address market barriers in key international markets for B.C. wood products.
Coast Forest Products Association
- Expand sales of coastal species in Japan and China.
Council of Forest Industries
- Promote the benefits of wood frame construction in China and South Korea.
- Expand opportunities for SPF lumber in the Japanese non-residential and post & beam sectors.
Western Red Cedar Lumber Association
- Promote Western Red Cedar as a superior green building material in the U.S. and Canada.
Wood Pellet Association of Canada
- Build the profile of the industry in Europe and address supply chain issues.
- Investigate market opportunities in South Korea.
Wood Products Council
- Promote the use of wood in a variety of non-residential and multi-unit construction projects in the United States.
- Provide technical advice, education, and support to the design community to enable greater understanding and use of wood in non-residential and industrial settings.
- Support the expansion of markets in the US for innovative wood products and building systems (e.g., cross-laminated timber).
B.C.'s Forest Renaissance; a Growth Industry
- From 2011 to 2012, forestry jobs increased from 53,400 to 56,400 - a six per cent increase and more than triple the increase for all other sectors.
- Lumber prices for the past two months are at their highest levels since fall 2005, and analysts predict B.C. is heading into a supercycle.
- In 2012, the total volume of B.C.'s lumber exports worldwide was 5.9 per cent higher than in 2011, and the total value of those exports was up 9.7 per cent.
- In 2012, the volume of B.C.'s lumber exports to the U.S. was up 11.3 per cent from 2011 and the value up by 25.2 per cent.
- In 2003, softwood lumber exports to China totalled $69 million, grew 1,500 per cent to almost $1.1 billion in 2011, and held steady in 2012.
- In 2012 B.C.'s production of wood pellets increased to about 1.95 million tonnes, almost double the volume produced in 2010.
- B.C. has more than 52 million hectares certified to one of three internationally recognized sustainable forest management certification standards, more than any other region in the world.
- B.C. plants an average of 200 million trees each year, and is anticipated to plant more than 225 million in 2013
- Since 2005, the provincial government's Forests for Tomorrow program has invested $269 million, surveyed 1.3 million hectares and planted more than 80 million seedlings over 61,000 hectares.
- The Province recently released a 10-year Strategic Forest Inventory Plan, supported with $8 million annual funding for the life of the plan. Through this plan, 35 million hectares will be inventoried in mountain pine beetle affected and other priority areas.
- Since 2002, the Province has signed forestry agreements with 175 First Nations, providing more than $324 million in revenue-sharing and access to over 63.2 million cubic metres of timber.
Brennan Clarke, Media Relations
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations