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.

BC legislature

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

Just Posted

Conservation Officer warns to reduce attractants

‘Spring is coming and bears have already been spotted’

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

South Cariboo Farmers’ Market to operate with food vendors only

‘There will be no non-food vendors until further notice’

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read