B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson visits wood buyers in China in 2017. He has returned to the country this week and is in Japan as of Wednesday. (B.C. government)

B.C. forest industry trade mission finding new markets in China

Diplomatic tensions eased, minister Doug Donaldson says

B.C. forest products continue to find a growing market in China as diplomatic tensions with Canada have eased, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says.

Speaking to reporters from Tokyo on Wednesday, Donaldson said his delegation of 35 forest company executives completed their visit to Shanghai with good trade prospects, after attending the Sino-Canadian Wood Forum. High-grade B.C. wood producers are focused on furniture manufacturers as well as the more established Chinese markets of Whistler-style resort construction and wooden infill walls that reduce the country’s massive use of concrete and improve earthquake resilience.

China and Japan’s forest products markets are more significant than ever as B.C. producers struggle with continued import duties of 20 per cent or more on sales to the U.S., Canada’s traditional number-one market. China currently accounts for 28 per cent of B.C. wood products exports, making it the fourth largest international customer, and Japan is third largest.

RELATED: Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.

RELATED: B.C. forest companies get first test for new harvest rules

The scale of the Chinese construction and urbanization is so vast that its annual floor space construction is equal to 1.4 times the size of Metro Vancouver each year, Donaldson said. On the resort side, five billion Chinese people took a domestic vacation trip in 2018, an 11 per cent increase over 2017.

The 2018 B.C. trade mission to China and Japan came shortly after Canadian authorities detained Chinese telecommunications executive Meng Wazhou for extradition to the U.S. over charges there. The Huawei executive remains in Vancouver on bail as lawyers argue over the extradition application.

Donaldson left last year’s trade mission before it entered China, uncertain over the reception any Canadian politician would receive, as China took two Canadians into custody and began a series of trade sanctions on Canadian farm and other products.

This year the diplomatic tensions have eased and Donaldson said he had a normal reception from industry officials in Shanghai.

One of the mission’s goals in Japan this week is exploring further sales of B.C. wood pellets, as the country struggles to replace its nuclear power generation following the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and tsunami that crippled one of its nuclear power plants.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

Whitewater offering ski program for people with cognitive impairments

Discounted tickets for skiers and chaperones, as well as lessons, are available

Breanna Faulkner, Kootenay Swim Club win at Kelowna Snowfest

Faulker won four medals, including two gold

Calendars for a cause: Linocut calendars raise funds for Kalein Centre

The last few calendars and cards are available at Cowan’s Office Supplies and Zinnia Textiles

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens play to the crowd in Nelson

The charity game was a spectacle from puck drop

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

Most Read