Highlights from an early October BC government news release:
MORE FUNDING FOR MARKETING WOOD PRODUCTS IN CHINA
VICTORIA – Building on another record year for lumber sales into China, Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) has increased funding for China marketing by 17 per cent and sharpened the focus of its joint market development strategy with industry and the federal government, Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell announced today.
“We want to take advantage of the excellent reputation we’ve established in China as a world leader in wood products and building technology,” said Bell. “This increased funding allows us to pursue some tremendous near-term commercial opportunities – like roof trusses, infill walls and partition walls – as we continue to develop longer-term prospects like multi-storey wood frame construction. This more comprehensive marketing strategy will help us stay out in front of the competition.”
B.C. softwood lumber exports to China in 2009 have already hit an all-time annual high, 860 million board feet to the end of July, with five more months still to go in the sales year. Lumber exports to China have surpassed those to Japan for the first time ever, making China the number one off-shore market for B.C. in terms of volume.
To add to the momentum of the record-breaking sales, total funding through FII has been increased to $5.06 million in 2009-10, up 17 per cent or $726,000 over the previous year (2008-09). Combined with funding from industry and the Government of Canada, more than $13 million is being directed to China marketing activities in 2009-10, up from $8.6 million in 2008-09.
“The work in China is a great example of federal, provincial and industry collaboration,” said Bell. “By working together – Canadian forest companies, the Government of Canada, and the Province of British Columbia – we’re moving faster and making more inroads than we’d ever be able to accomplish separately. Funding from all parties has increased more than 50 per cent over the previous year.”
Natural Resources Canada, FII and industry recently updated their market development strategy for China. The revised strategy enhances the promotion of wood-truss roof systems and seeks to increase the demonstration of wood use for interior partition walls and exterior in-fill walls in concrete structures. British Columbia aims to take recent commercial roofing breakthroughs in Shanghai and transfer that success to other parts of the country such as the Beijing-Tianjin Corridor in northern China and the Sichuan Province in west-central China.
The strategy also calls for training and technology transfer programs with a wider scope, more interaction with mid-size and larger developers and designers, and an expanded government relations presence.
Working collaboratively with Canada Wood Group, FII expects to complete construction on a number of wood frame community infrastructure demonstration projects. FII also anticipates substantial support for the demonstration of wood frame housing in farming villages.
For more information about Forestry Innovation Investment marketing activities in China, visit http://www.bcfii.ca/.