Canada Wood China Welcomes High-Profile Visits
Senator Terry M. Mercer; Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais; Senator Raymonde Gagné; Senator Victor Oh; Senator Claudette Tardif; Senator Pana Merchant; FII China General Manager Lisa Dou; Senator Ghislain Maltais
Canadian Senators visit Dream Home Canada
On November 7th, Canada Wood China welcomed its first group of VIP guests, Canadian Senators Terry M. Mercer, Jean-Guy Dagenais, Raymonde Gagné, Victor Oh, Claudette Tardif, Pana Merchant and Ghislain Maltais. After a brief welcome speech, the Parliamentary Delegation received a short tour around Canada Wood China’s head office “Dream Home Canada”, Canada’s first demonstration project in Shanghai.
The delegation then received a presentation on Canada Wood’s approach to developing alternative markets for lumber. The presentations generated active discussions with many good points exchanged. A few worth reiterating include:
- Market development initiatives produce significant benefits for Canada
- Reduced dependency on the US
- Expand market share in countries like China, Japan and Korea
- Develop government relationships with partners like MOHURD in China
- Public-private partnership is central to our approach
- Our model includes Canada (NRCan), British Columbia (BCFII) and industry
The Parliamentary Delegation was particularly interested in the opportunity to profile wood as a green building material in China as well as Canada Wood’s work in developing building codes and standards. The implication of the outcome of the Softwood Lumber Agreement (between Canada and the United States) will have on Chinese exports was also of interest.
The delegation’s visit to DHC provided an important opportunity to demonstrate the importance of our program and to raise the wood file’s profile among decision makers in Ottawa. High-level political support is particularly important in China, where the government endorsement can bring legitimacy to new product or technology.
Alberta Forest Minister
Following the Canadian senators visit, the Canada Wood China team also hosted Honorable Minister Oneil Carlier, currently responsible for Agriculture and Forestry.
Like the senators before him, Canada Wood China provided Minister Carlier with an overview of the China program. The delegation was particularly interested in understanding China’s construction market and opportunities to expand wood use in a country dominated by steel and concrete.
They also discussed opportunities for collaboration with the province of Alberta. As with the senators, the implications that the outcome of the Softwood Lumber Agreement with Canada would have on the current export of Canadian lumber to China, was also a hot topic.