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.

Just Posted

Prolific offender charged in Chilliwack break-and-enter

Ifraz Shamil Khan also charged with flight from police and apprehended in Yarrow Dec. 5

Petition demands action after Leisure Centre thefts

‘Something has to be done,’ says victim

High death rate at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

Abbotsford has the worst-performing large hospital in B.C. on key safety measure

Education Minister to make announcement in Chilliwack Friday

Visit points to possible support for arts-and-technology school at former UFV site

Cold case hunters take on search for man who went missing from Chilliwack

Kristofer Couture’s car was found at Chilliwack trailhead in January but there’s been no sign since

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Owner surrenders dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage to BC SPCA

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

Most Read