In partnership with the Government of Canada, FII opened an office in Mumbai, India in 2012 to capitalize on emerging opportunities for B.C. wood products.
Long-term potential for B.C. products in India are very positive. While traditionally a tropical hardwood market, log export restrictions in Myanmar, Malaysia, and other tropical countries have forced Indian manufacturers to look for alternate wood supply sources. As such, a shift is taking place from both from imported hardwoods to softwoods, and from logs to lumber.
The rapid opening of a market for softwood products presents a unique opportunity to position B.C. as a reliable supplier of fibre from sustainable sources. This, combined with India’s growing consumption of wood products, reinforces the need for a strong push for Canadian products in the market.
The office in India is a collaborative operation managed by FII and works in conjunction with Canada Wood and Natural Resources Canada. The India team continues to pursue research activities to stay abreast of the country’s dynamic supply-demand scenario, particularly the increasing appetite for lumber over logs, and the growing willingness by manufacturers to consider softwoods for their products.
Activities in India will benefit from increased funding from the Province of B.C., with a goal of increasing Canada’s brand recognition and the exposure of B.C. species, and increasing early commercialization activities. Investment support will be via a partnership with Natural Resources Canada to support the ongoing operation and outreach activities from the FII India office, and the increasing involvement of the forest industry through Canada Wood.
Initiatives under our India strategy include:
- expanding and advancing a strong Canadian wood brand in India;
- expanding FII’s geographic presence in India to include the north and south of India;
- expanding product trials to demonstrate the suitability of B.C. wood species; and
- expanding demonstration activities to showcase B.C. wood in larger-scale commercial building applications.
Strategic engagement with government will also support efforts in India. FII works closely with the B.C. Trade and Investment representatives (co-located in the FII India office) and with the Canadian High Commission and Consulates to build strong networks with government influencers. In addition, FII advances relations with Export Development Canada in India to link their export programs where appropriate.