Canfor Reinforces Ties with China’s Market

By: Nancy Xie

Director, Government Relations, FII China

Last week, Canfor’s President and CEO, Don Kayne, along with David Calabrigo, SVP of Corporate Development, Legal Affairs and Corporate Secretary, traveled to China. Their goal was to reinforce Canfor’s position in the China market amidst global economic uncertainties.

Throughout their stay, Canfor representatives conducted meetings with local stakeholders including a productive meeting with FII China and Canada Wood China team. They delved into a variety of topics including market trends, consumer demands, regulatory matters, and sustainable practices.

Canfor’s focus on the Chinese market has been unwavering and integral to its diversification strategy. The roots of this commitment trace back to 2005 when Don Kayne first visited China as part of a British Columbia trade delegation. At that time, China constituted a mere 1% of Canfor’s exports. Since then, China has grown to become one of Canfor’s top five markets in terms of value, along with the US and Japan, and the second largest in terms of volume.

Years of concerted efforts by Canada Wood and FII China in areas such as code development, government relationship building, technical capacity enhancement, and marketing have paved the way for this progress.

The collaboration with FII China and Canada Wood China focuses on removing barriers in codes and standards, reinforcing advocacy initiatives, and enhancing the transfer of technical expertise to Chinese designers and builders. These efforts are crucial for overcoming short-term market challenges and fostering the long-term growth of Canadian wood in China’s construction sector.

Despite current challenges, particularly in China’s real estate sector, which have caused concern among Canadian businesses, we believe these challenges represent a transitional phase rather than a prolonged downturn. Understanding these challenges and their associated timelines is critical for achieving long-term success in the Chinese market.