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Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson will be leading a delegation of over 30 senior executives from B.C.’s forest companies and associations to Japan and China from Nov. 27 to Dec. 5, 2015.

This will be Thomson’s fourth trade mission to China and Japan as forests minister. China and Japan are respectively B.C.’s second- and third- largest markets for softwood lumber products.

As part of a continued focus on expanding the use of wood-in construction overseas, site visits will include stops at wood construction and manufacturing facilities in Tokyo and Dalian (east of Beijing). Meetings are also planned with government officials and industry representatives in both Japan and China to promote the use of B.C. wood products in construction and manufacturing.

In Japan, Thomson will meet with industry leaders, attend the opening of the new BC Wood office and showroom and tour a five-storey, elderly care facility being built using an innovative building system developed in B.C., and constructed with wood products from British Columbia.

In China, delegates will speak at the Sino-Canada Wood Conference, and sign memorandums of understanding with the Shanghai Construction Centre and the Shanghai Science and Technology Committee. The delegation will also hold discussions with China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban and Rural Development to advance the use of wood in China’s green building efforts. Thomson will also sign a letter of intent with the Chinese Society for Urban Studies.

Developing and expanding markets for British Columbia’s goods and services are crucial pillars of the BC Jobs Plan. Trade missions are a critical part of B.C.’s strategy to strengthen and diversify international trade and secure new investment, which in turn drives economic activity and job creation throughout the province. Undertaking annual trade missions to Asia with forest industry representatives is one of Minister Thomson’s mandate letter commitments.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015