Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson will be leading a delegation of over 30 senior executives from B.C.’s forest companies and associations to Japan and China from Nov. 27 to Dec. 5, 2015.
This will be Thomson’s fourth trade mission to China and Japan as forests minister. China and Japan are respectively B.C.’s second- and third- largest markets for softwood lumber products.
As part of a continued focus on expanding the use of wood-in construction overseas, site visits will include stops at wood construction and manufacturing facilities in Tokyo and Dalian (east of Beijing). Meetings are also planned with government officials and industry representatives in both Japan and China to promote the use of B.C. wood products in construction and manufacturing.
In Japan, Thomson will meet with industry leaders, attend the opening of the new BC Wood office and showroom and tour a five-storey, elderly care facility being built using an innovative building system developed in B.C., and constructed with wood products from British Columbia.
In China, delegates will speak at the Sino-Canada Wood Conference, and sign memorandums of understanding with the Shanghai Construction Centre and the Shanghai Science and Technology Committee. The delegation will also hold discussions with China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban and Rural Development to advance the use of wood in China’s green building efforts. Thomson will also sign a letter of intent with the Chinese Society for Urban Studies.
Developing and expanding markets for British Columbia’s goods and services are crucial pillars of the BC Jobs Plan. Trade missions are a critical part of B.C.’s strategy to strengthen and diversify international trade and secure new investment, which in turn drives economic activity and job creation throughout the province. Undertaking annual trade missions to Asia with forest industry representatives is one of Minister Thomson’s mandate letter commitments.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson –
“B.C.’s forest sector continues to build on its success in Asia’s key lumber markets. This year’s trade mission is another opportunity to develop those vital relationships between governments, industry associations and businesses that support forestry jobs throughout British Columbia.”
Rick Jeffery, president and CEO, Coast Forest Products Association –
“The Coast Forest Products Association is looking forward to participating in the 2015 Forestry Asia Trade Mission with Minister Thomson and other industry delegates. Trade missions play a significant role in expanding overseas markets for the coast forest products sector, which over 38,000 British Columbians rely on for their livelihood.”
Susan Yurkovich, president and CEO, Council of Forest Industries –
“International trade missions are vital for creating and maintaining strong bonds between the B.C. forest industry and our partners in overseas markets. These trade missions allow us to tell our story directly to our customers, reminding them that when they buy B.C. wood, they’re not only getting the highest quality products in the world, but they also know that those products come from sustainably managed forests.”
- In 2014, China received 25% of B.C.’s softwood lumber exports totalling $1.43 billion.
- In 2014, Japan received 13% of B.C.’s softwood lumber exports totalling $731 million.
- In 2014, B.C.’s forest products accounted for 36% of all exports.
- B.C.’s forest industry supports over 146,000 direct and indirect jobs across the province.
Follow the trade mission on Twitter: @BCJobsPlan, #TM2015
BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca