B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson exchanges gifts with Chul-Hee Kang, president of the Korea Institute of Architects, during trade mission to Asia. (B.C. government)

B.C. lumber industry trade mission still has high hopes for China

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson cut short trip after Japan, Korea stops

Most forest industry representatives on B.C.’s annual trade mission to Asia are carrying on to China this week, but Forests Minister Doug Donaldson and government officials aren’t joining them.

Donaldson said Monday he decided not to join forest company executives on the final leg of the journey due to diplomatic tensions between Canada and China over the arrest of a Chinese high-tech executive in Vancouver.

“Under the current circumstances, a government minister joining business people would add a different dynamic,” Donaldson told reporters in a conference call from Japan.

Susan Yurkovich, CEO of the Council of Forest Industries, said B.C. companies have long-standing relationships with Chinese, Korean and Japanese companies and the ones on this year’s trip are carrying on with their meetings.

The Chinese government summoned Canada’s ambassador to warn of consequences this weekend after Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei was arrested at the request of U.S. authorities.

Yurkovich flew to China Monday to join members of B.C.’s largest-ever trade mission to Asia, joined by executives of major forest companies including Interfor, West Fraser and Canfor as well as specialty wood manufacturers. Donaldson said meetings and agreement signings arranged between B.C. and Chinese officials will be rescheduled to a later date.

Japan, China and Korea together now represent about 30 per cent of B.C.’s export market and there is more growth potential as wood construction technology improves and the environmental benefits of wood buildings replacing concrete are realized, Yurkovich said.

While in Korea, the group toured a housing development near Seoul, sponsored by the Canadian industry to showcase modern wood construction techniques.

Korea has moved up to become B.C.’s fifth largest forest products export market, and China remains number two after the United States. Japan is B.C.’s longest-standing Asian wood customer, using cedar and other high-grade lumber in its traditional wood frame construction.

The B.C. and Canadian governments co-sponsor demonstration projects and research in all three countries, to develop new innovations such as mass timber and high-rise construction using engineered wood.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

New location, new energy for The Good Earth

The Good Earth celebrated their grand opening in a new space on… Continue reading

Fernie Arts Co-op celebrates upgraded space with sale

The Fernie Arts Co-op was a busy place on Saturday, as they… Continue reading

Holiday Artisan Fair at The Arts Station showcases local talent

The Arts Station was bustling and alive with artisans, shoppers and live… Continue reading

Christmas cheer for charity

Tis the season of giving in the Elk Valley, as we see… Continue reading

Kootenay-Columbia MP talks throne speech, USMCA trade deal

Rob Morrison to open constituency office in Cranbrook at 800C Baker St. on Dec. 19

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read