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

Province willing to talk with Lantzville about traffic management for Island Highway

Lantzville councillor plans to ask ministry to install traffic time signs on Highway 19

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Lack of coverage of Liberals was ‘chauvinism’

There’s a responsibility to report a balanced gender approach to this campaign, says letter writer

Winter preparation underway for mid-Island highways

Drivers reminded to ready vehicles for changing conditions

Bear sightings up significantly in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Fruit trees number one food attractant, says conservation officer

V.I. Raiders win, wait to find out playoff foe

Raiders defeat Valley Huskers 13-6 in BCFC regular-season finale

Environment Canada issues gale warnings for western Vancouver Island

Gale warnings in effect for most of Vancouver Island and west coast Mainland

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Most Read