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

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation looks to grow funding for memory garden

Foundation will start new campaign next month as it wraps up recruitment campaign

Survey says 27% of Victoria employers look to hire this quarter

Another 13 % of employers anticipate cutbacks

UPDATED: Heavy police presence in Victoria had part of Bay Street blocked off

Bay Street east of Quadra Street was blocked off on Saturday

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Most Read