B.C.’s largest forestry trade mission to China
B.C. Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson led a B.C.’s largest-ever forest sector mission to China from November 12th to 15th. There were over 40 delegates from more than 20 B.C. forest companies and associations, and representatives from Embassy of Canada to China, the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai, B.C. Trade Office and Canadian Trade Office joining in the mission. John Kozij, Director General, Trade, Economic and Industry Branch of Natural Resources Canada was one of the delegates.
Although it was an only four-day mission in China, the mission covered comprehensive elements to provide Minister Donaldson and delegates to:
- Gain new insights into China’s economic and political trends;
- Reinforce the commitment of B.C. government to Chinese stakeholders;
- Understand the range of opportunities for B.C. wood products in China;
- And enhance government-to-government relations with key partners.
Minister and the full delegation participated in 3rd Sino-Canada Wood Conference on the first day. It is worth mentioning that there were more than 200 participants attending the conference consisting of Shanghai local MOHURD officials, real estate developers, wood traders, builders and academics. It provides an important platform to promote Canadian forest products, particularly in industrialized construction sector. At the beginning of the conference, Minister Donaldson, Weldon Epp, Canadian Consul General in Shanghai and Mr. Pei Xiao, Deputy Director-General of Shanghai MOHURD provided opening remarks respectively. Furthermore, it also provides opportunities for Canadian sellers and Chinese buyers to strengthen business-to-business relationships.
The panel discussion was another important segment in the conference. Executives from West Fraser, Canfor, Interfor, Tolko and Interex had a discussion moderated by Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO of COFI. The industry executives highlighted that China is one of most important market for Canadian wood business. Nowadays China has been the second-largest export market for Canadian softwood lumber. The Canadian wood industry is committed to China, values China as a business partner and expects to further strengthen this partnership.
Following the wood conference in Shanghai, it was an official meeting with Jiangsu Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province on the second day. Minister Donaldson and other delegates had a deep discussion with Mr. Liu Dawei, Vice Minister of the Jiangsu MOHURD, and other Chinese government and industry stakeholders on the latest developments of wood construction in Jiangsu and potential innovative applications in Jiangsu such as prefabricated wood infill wall, reroofing and cross-laminated timber. Minister Donaldson expressed gratitude to Jiangsu MOHURD for their efforts and contribution on developing wood technology in Jiangsu province and making Jiangsu Province as a leader in wood construction in China.
Also in Jiangsu, CW China signed an MOU with Yadong Group which is a large, specialized real-estate and industrial investment enterprise with witness of Minister Donaldson, John Kozij, Liu Dawei and other governmental officials and industry executives from Canada and China. Signing MOU with Yadong Group will help CW China step further into tourism sector as the group is using wood to build resort home and tourism projects in China including wood-frame villas, hotels and commercial facilities.
The mission ended with a tour of the Jiangsu Urban and Rural Construction College in which the delegation was introduce the development of wood frame course in the school and its workshop with various wood application models.
The trade mission plays an important role for Canada Wood China carrying out our strategies in Chinese market. Canada is a long-term, reliable partner to China for wood products.