British Columbia has signed a five-year agreement with Shanghai’s Pudong District to promote wood-frame construction and B.C. wood products to meet the Chinese district’s needs for energy-efficient, low-carbon buildings.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Forestry Innovation Investment, the Government of B.C.’s market development agency for wood products, and the Shanghai Pudong Construction and Transportation Commission. The agreement calls for further co-operation between the two agencies on the development of wood-frame construction technology in Pudong.
The agreement was signed during a visit to British Columbia by Vice Governor Ming Wei of the People’s Government of Pudong New Area. Vice Governor Wei is in charge of construction and transportation for Pudong District. Pudong is the financial district of Shanghai and includes some of the most iconic buildings in the city, including the Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai Financial Centre. More than 5 million people live in the district.
Features of the MOU include:
- Enhancing technical research into new wood-frame construction systems targeted to the needs of Pudong’s construction sector, with an emphasis on reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.
- Applying the new wood-frame construction systems to demonstration buildings such as public schools or other educational facilities.
- Promoting wood-frame construction technology to local developers and builders through seminars and technical training programs.
- Enhancing cooperation by sharing technical expertise and organizing exchanges of industry and government representatives to promote an in-depth bilateral relationship.
The MOU follows on several earlier agreements between B.C. and local governments and agencies in the Shanghai area, including an MOU with the Shanghai Housing Bureau signed during last October’s B.C. forest sector mission to China led by Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson. That MOU built on B.C.’s efforts in the Sanlin (Shanghai) Residential Housing project where B.C. wood and building systems are being used to address China’s growing urban housing needs.
B.C. wood is being used at the project in roof trusses, partition walls, and the construction of hybrid concrete-wood buildings, including an administration building and a cultural centre.
Attending Friday’s MOU signing event with Vice Governor Ming Wei was a delegation of Pudong officials involved in construction, transportation and public housing; representatives of the B.C. forest industry; and B.C. government officials.
Forestry Innovation Investment operates joint market development programs in China with the B.C. forest industry. Funding support for these programs is provided by the Government of Canada through Natural Resources Canada, the B.C. government and the forest industry. Since the provincial and federal governments and industry came together to launch the market development program in China in 2003, annual exports of B.C. softwood lumber to China have increased almost 2,000%.
China is B.C.’s largest overseas market for softwood lumber. In 2013, B.C. exported more than $1.4 billion worth of softwood lumber to China, a 30% increase over 2012 sales.
Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat -
“China is British Columbia’s second-largest trading partner and is a priority market for B.C.’s international trade efforts, as outlined in the BC Jobs Plan. This agreement shows the effectiveness of our efforts to build trade with China and to further strengthen business ties between B.C. businesses and their counterparts in China.”
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson -
“Over the past few years, China has grown from an emerging market for B.C. wood products to one willing to pay higher prices for premium lumber. Agreements like this MOU, which is a direct follow-up from the 2013 Forestry Asia Trade Mission, will further increase demand for higher-valued, certified B.C. wood products to meet China’s growing demand for wood-frame construction.”
Find out more about Forestry Innovation Investment at: www.bcfii.ca/
Check out the Province’s international trade and investment website: www.BritishColumbia.ca
Ministry of International Trade and Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations