Strong Past, Bright Future
Province sets agenda to address forest sector competitiveness
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

PRINCE GEORGE - The provincial government today released its agenda to enhance the competitiveness of B.C.'s forest sector so that it continues to make investments and provide family-...More

PRINCE GEORGE - The provincial government today released its agenda to enhance the competitiveness of B.C.'s forest sector so that it continues to make investments and provide family-supporting jobs in communities throughout the province.

The agenda called "Strong Past, Bright Future" contains 49 strategic actions to address three key inter-related goals: healthy, resilient forests; diverse, globally competitive industry; and stable communities and First Nations.

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First ever Wood Best Practices: Industry Forum takes place in Vancouver
First ever Wood Best Practices: Industry Forum takes place in Vancouver
Monday, June 6, 2016

In partnership with Natural Resources Canada, Canada Wood, and other program delivery partners, FII will deliver the Wood Best Practices: Industry Forum from June 6–10, 2016 in Vancouver...More

In partnership with Natural Resources Canada, Canada Wood, and other program delivery partners, FII will deliver the Wood Best Practices: Industry Forum from June 6–10, 2016 in Vancouver.

The purpose of the Forum is to enhance working relationships across organizations, discuss best practices and lessons learned in geographic and sector markets, leverage knowledge from program delivery staff in North America and across Asia, and ultimately to grow more opportunities for B.C. and Canadian wood products domestically and internationally.

The Forum will feature presentations, roundtables, workshops, site visits, and networking opportunities. Speakers will include architects, engineers, building owners, scientists and fire protection consultants. Roundtables and workshops will allow attendees to discuss a wide range of topics including mid-rise/ taller/ non-residential buildings, building performance (fire, maintenance), remanufacturing, climate change, sustainable forestry and business operations including communications and performance metrics. Site visits to new construction projects will demonstrate innovative uses of wood including the 18-storey mass-timber hybrid Brock Commons building under construction at UBC, commercial buildings using mass timber, elderly care facilities and other mid-rise projects.

As part of the Forum, Canada Wood will also host an evening reception with remarks by Minister Steve Thompson, FLNRO; Assistant Deputy Minister Glenn Mason, NRCan; and Rick Jeffrey, Chair and CEO of Coast Forest Products Association and Chair of the Canada Wood Group. 

Forum participants include representatives from BC Wood, the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, Canada Wood (Canada, China, Korea, and Japan), Canadian Wood Council, Ceco Bois, Council of Forest Industries, FII (Canada, China and India), Forest Products Association of Canada, Global Affairs Canada, NRCan, and Wood Works (B.C. and Ontario).   

For more updates about the Forum, please follow FII on LinkedIn

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The Province of B.C., the Government of Canada and industry representatives embark on trade mission to India
The Province of B.C., the Government of Canada and industry representatives embark on trade mission to India
Representatives from the Province of B.C., the Government of Canada and industry embark on trade mission to India
Monday, May 30, 2016

MUMBAI – Representatives from the Province of B.C., the Government of Canada and the B.C. forest industry have embarked on a six-day trade mission across India to identify opportunities...More

MUMBAI – Representatives from the Province of B.C., the Government of Canada and the B.C. forest industry have embarked on a six-day trade mission across India to identify opportunities for Canadian wood products, meet with Indian wood product manufacturers and build relationships with the wood using community. 

Organized by FII India staff in Mumbai and led by Tim Sheldan, Deputy Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for the Province of B.C., the 15-person delegation includes senior-level representatives from the Government of Canada (Natural Resources Canada), Canfor, Coast Clear Wood Ltd., Tolko, West Fraser, Western Forest Products and Canada Wood.  

The mission program includes a day-long information and strategy session, a political update from the Consul General of Canada to Mumbai, and eight site visits to wood product manufacturers in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Mysore.

The program includes visits to several furniture manufacturers including some who have or are currently undertaking product trials using B.C. wood. For example, MAS Furniture Pvt. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of furniture is currently undertaking product trials using western hemlock and SPF. The group will also visit Kelachandra Veneer Industries, one of the largest wood products manufacturers in India using Canadian products for doors.

Economic, demographic and industrial indicators continue to support the case for market development efforts in India and government, industry and trade associations recognize the important role trade missions play in opening emerging markets for Canadian forest products.

For more information, photos and updates on the mission as they happen, follow FII on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/forestry-innovation-investment

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Chinese Minister issues strong official endorsement for wood construction
Chinese Central Government Minister issues strong official endorsement for wood construction
Friday, May 20, 2016

Thursday May 4 was an important day for China’s wood construction community, as Minister Chen Zheng Gao of MOHURD (Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development) publically championed...More

Thursday May 4 was an important day for China’s wood construction community, as Minister Chen Zheng Gao of MOHURD (Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development) publically championed for wood construction in a speech to a gathering of senior officials in Beijing. The full speech was posted on the China Network Television homepage (www.CNTV.cn), China’s 16th most visited website with approximately five million weekly visits. 

During his speech, Minister Chen highlighted the environmental benefits of building with wood compared to steel and concrete and discussed the need to promote wood construction in China, to correct prevailing misconceptions about deforestation, and to continue to develop favorable conditions for wood construction.

The message signals a new, more positive tone from the central government and marks the first time that a senior government leader has become an advocate of wood construction. Contents of the speech have also been included in training materials for the National State Council’s Chinese Academy of Governance, which is the highest level organization offering political training in China.

Minister Chen discussed a wide range of topics in addressing an audience of approximately 800 officials and members of academia. Topics ranged from urban planning and construction strategies to wood construction as a viable solution for construction industrialization (prefabrication). During this speech, the Minister recognized new opportunities to use wood, including a reference to the 18-storey “wood building” under construction in Canada. 

According to FII China General Manager Lisa Dou,Public support of a high-ranking government official will help strengthen the profile of wood with different levels of government and within the construction industry. We are also hopeful that the Minster’s support will help drive forward policy development work and draw the construction industry’s attention to wood. However, we still have a lot of work to do in order to bridge the gap between government recognition of wood and commercial activity”. 

When market development efforts began in China over a decade ago, there were no policies that favored wood. In fact, public perception of wood construction was generally negative and official endorsement of wood was non-existent. This speech reflects the valuable work carried out by market development agencies including FII China and Canada Wood China. Ongoing activities include technical transfer, government relations, education and training, as well as marketing and promotion.

Minister Chen’s speech was part of the “Reports of the prospects of the 13th Five-Year Plan” held at the Great Hall of People. During the session, each of China’s ministers detailed how the latest 5-year plan will impact the direction of their respective ministry. MOHURD is one of China’s 20 ministries under the State Council and is responsible for providing housing and regulating construction, including policy development and establishing codes and standards.

TRANSLATION OF THE SPEECH

Link to the video (in Chinese). The Minister discusses wood at 1 hour 33 minutes to 1 hour 38 minutes.

I believe that it is important for China to create favorable conditions for modern wood construction. Why do I say “favorable conditions”? When MOHURD drafted the proposal of promoting wood construction to the State Council some people expressed concern regarding deforestation. However, it is incorrect to assume that building wood structures will lead to deforestation.

It has surprised me that the State Forestry Council has been our greatest supporter in promoting wood construction - I wouldn’t have expected this. I myself am a long-time supporter of wood construction; I believe we owe this to our future generations. When we look at Japan, more than half of their residential buildings are built with wood; in rural areas this figure is almost 100%.

The benefits of wood are manifold. First of all, wood is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. Wood can grow from the earth – concrete and steel can’t. We have to damage our environment to produce both. We will see how many years we have left until there is nothing left to extract.

Secondly, wood structures have several advantages. They are low-carbon, environmentally friendly, energy-efficient and better insulated. They are also suitable for high seismic areas and are fast to construct. According to our study, a wood frame building uses 45% less energy during the construction phase and 50% – 70% during the usage phase compared to a concrete structure.  

Moreover, we can build both low and high-rise wood structures. In Canada the highest wood buildings are up-to 18 stories. Wood is also suitable for both residential and public buildings. I have a photo of the waiting room of a foreign airport where the long-span beam was made from manufactured glulam.

However, China lacks localized codes for both construction and building materials industry that relate to wood. Therefore, we have applied North American and Northern European standards. We are far behind - if China would promote wood structures to even half of the extent of Japan, we would dramatically improve the construction industry’s environmental footprint and building energy-efficiency. We would also give birth to a new industry that would need lots of manpower to plant trees and to manufacture materials. Wood needs to be treated and fabricated, this is a huge industry. Therefore, we need to collaborate and do our best to promote wood structures in China.

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Coastal inlet in B.C.
B.C. invests $8 million to advance wood and grow global markets
Friday, April 8, 2016

KELOWNA - The Government of British Columbia announced today that it is investing $8 million to promote the use of B.C. wood, help advance wood building systems and products, and to...More

KELOWNA - The Government of British Columbia announced today that it is investing $8 million to promote the use of B.C. wood, help advance wood building systems and products, and to expand global markets for B.C. wood products.

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Peter Bradfield, FI India Technical Advisor, addresses the local wood importer community in Gujarat, India
Peter Bradfield, FI India Technical Advisor, addresses the local wood importer community in Gujarat, India
FII promotes Canadian lumber in Gujarat, India
Saturday, February 13, 2016

On February 13, 2016 FII India participated in the Vibrant Kutch event held in India's westernmost state of Gujarat. Gujarat is a notable market for wood imports and exports as the ports...More

On February 13, 2016 FII India participated in the Vibrant Kutch event held in India's westernmost state of Gujarat. Gujarat is a notable market for wood imports and exports as the ports of Mundra and Kandla have emerged as forerunners accelerating economic growth in the region. In order to engage with the wood import community, FII India organized an information session to share creative applications and design possibilities when using Canadian wood. The hour-long interactive seminar focused on wood import and export trends, growth of sawn lumber and the adoption of Canadian wood by large-scale Indian manufacturers. The presentation gave the audience a comprehensive overview of Canadian wood and its possible applications in India.

“It is heartening to note that in spite of the country's fascination with tropical hardwoods, the import of softwoods has been growing steadily from 29% to 38% over the last three years. We have also seen a positive trend in the import of lumber growing from 2% to 10% over the last three years." - Peter Bradfield, FII India Technical Advisor. 

For more information on FII India and upcoming events in India, please visit www.canadianwood.in/about-us

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Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson meets with Ray Sun of Quacent homes, a manufacturer of prefabricated wood homes located in Dalian, China during the Minister’s 2015 trade mission to Asia.
China’s Urban Action Plan recognizes prefabrication as key component of Climate Change Strategy
Saturday, February 6, 2016

On February 4, 2016 China’s National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development issued the policy circular, Urban Action Plan to Tackle...More

On February 4, 2016 China’s National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development issued the policy circular, Urban Action Plan to Tackle Climate Change. According To FII China’s General Manager Lisa Dou, “The policy circular signals the Central government’s commitment to climate change mitigation which opens the door for us to position Canadian wood as a climate-friendly building solution for China.” According to the China Housing Industrialization Strategic Alliance, traditional concrete buildings contribute to over 50% of China’s carbon emissions. 

The circular recommends closer international cooperation in order for China to learn how other countries have dealt with climate change issues and to promote technical exchange. FII China and Canada Wood China will look to leverage these developments to promote wood building systems as one solution that can help China address the challenges around sustainable urban development.

The Action Plan aims to facilitate China’s National Climate Change Adaption Strategy (issued in 2013) by enhancing the ability of cities to adapt to climate change and extreme climate events.

The Action Plan sets specific targets for 2020, including:

  • building 30 climate-friendly demonstration cities, and
  • increasing the number of project certified as green buildings to 50%

Key elements of the Action Plan related to the construction and wood industries include old house renovations and prefabricated construction. The Action Plan subsequently sets out to recommend the use of:

  • prefabricated steel, concrete and hybrid structures,
  • steel and wood structure in areas of high seismic activity,
  • steel structures in large public facilities and large-scale industry plants,
  • wood structures in low rise public facilities, including government funded schools, kindergartens, and senior homes, and
  • wood in landscaping.

Forestry Innovation Investment is the Province of B.C.’s market development agency for forest products. With offices in Vancouver, Beijing, Shanghai and Mumbai, FII actively promotes the environmental merits of building with wood from sustainably managed forests. FII China and Canada Wood lead market development efforts in China with support from Natural Resources Canada.

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Prefabricated wall-panel production at the Quacent factory in Dalian, China.
Chinese government issues guidelines to make cities greener and more livable
Saturday, February 6, 2016

On February 6, 2016 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued the Opinion on Further Enhancing Urban Planning and Construction Administration,...More

On February 6, 2016 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued the Opinion on Further Enhancing Urban Planning and Construction Administration, which provides recommendations and guidelines on urban development in China. As one of its strategic priorities, China aims to increase urbanization to 60% by 2020.

“The guidelines provide a strong indication of how the Chinese Central Government positions prefabrication in its pursuit of sustainable urban development” says FII China General Manager Lisa Dou. “We also view it as an encouraging development for the Chinese wood industry, as the guidelines mark the first time the Chinese government has recognized wood at this level.” The Central Committee includes the China Communist Party’s top leaders.

FII China and Canada Wood China plan to leverage these guidelines as they continue work to bridge the gap between government recognition of wood and commercial activity. Prefabrication offers an opportunity to position wood as a cost-competitive alternative to concrete, as prefabricating concrete is capital intensive. Currently, wood is considered a niche premium building solution; however, wood construction technologies are well-suited for prefabrication and can help advance sustainable urban environments in China.

Highlights related to prefabrication and wood construction

One of the key objectives set out by the guidelines is to improve construction quality, which requires the development of new construction models. Accordingly, the guidelines encourage the promotion of prefabricated construction, which can help reduce construction waste and dust, shorten construction time, and improve construction quality. The guidelines aim to increase the use of prefabricated components to 30% in all new buildings by 2026.

To achieve this goal, the government recommends:

  • the formulation of design, construction and inspection standards and codes for prefabricated construction,
  • the revision of building component standards and codes for industrialized manufacturing, prefabrication and on-site installation,
  • the establishment of a national manufacturing base for prefabricated construction,
  • the active and steady promotion of steel construction, and
  • the development of modern wood construction in areas where conditions permit.

Forestry Innovation Investment is the Province of B.C.’s market development agency for forest products. With offices in Vancouver, Beijing, Shanghai and Mumbai, FII actively promotes the environmental merits of building with wood from sustainably managed forests. FII China and Canada Wood lead market development efforts in China with support from Natural Resources Canada.

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The Zhangjiakou high-tech office science park uses prefabricated wood walls and floors.
The Zhangjiakou high-tech office science park located in Hebei province, China uses prefabricated wood walls and floors.
China’s Urban Action Plan recognizes prefabrication as key component of Climate Change Strategy
Thursday, February 4, 2016

On February 4, 2016 China’s National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development issued the policy circular, Urban Action Plan to Tackle...More

On February 4, 2016 China’s National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development issued the policy circular, Urban Action Plan to Tackle Climate Change. According To FII China’s General Manager Lisa Dou, “The policy circular signals the Central government’s commitment to climate change mitigation which opens the door for us to position Canadian wood as a climate-friendly building solution for China.” According to the China Housing Industrialization Strategic Alliance, traditional concrete buildings contribute to over 50% of China’s carbon emissions. 

The circular recommends closer international cooperation in order for China to learn how other countries have dealt with climate change issues and to promote technical exchange. FII China and Canada Wood China will look to leverage these developments to promote wood building systems as one solution that can help China address the challenges around sustainable urban development.

The Action Plan aims to facilitate China’s National Climate Change Adaption Strategy (issued in 2013) by enhancing the ability of cities to adapt to climate change and extreme climate events.

The Action Plan sets specific targets for 2020, including:

  • building 30 climate-friendly demonstration cities, and
  • increasing the number of project certified as green buildings to 50%

Key elements of the Action Plan related to the construction and wood industries include old house renovations and prefabricated construction. The Action Plan subsequently sets out to recommend the use of:

  • prefabricated steel, concrete and hybrid structures,
  • steel and wood structure in areas of high seismic activity,
  • steel structures in large public facilities and large-scale industry plants,
  • wood structures in low rise public facilities, including government funded schools, kindergartens, and senior homes, and
  • wood in landscaping.

Forestry Innovation Investment is the Province of B.C.’s market development agency for forest products. With offices in Vancouver, Beijing, Shanghai and Mumbai, FII actively promotes the environmental merits of building with wood from sustainably managed forests. FII China and Canada Wood lead market development efforts in China with support from Natural Resources Canada.

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Globally significant landmark agreement reached
Monday, February 1, 2016

VANCOUVER – First Nations, environmental groups and coastal forest industry representatives joined the Province today to celebrate achieving ecosystem-based management in the Great Bear...More

VANCOUVER – First Nations, environmental groups and coastal forest industry representatives joined the Province today to celebrate achieving ecosystem-based management in the Great Bear Rainforest.

The Great Bear Rainforest was established through land-use decisions announced in 2006. This globally unique area covers 6.4 million hectares on British Columbia’s north and central coast, and is home to 26 separate First Nations. Ecosystem-based management in the area is defined as “concurrent achievement of high levels of ecological integrity and high levels of human well-being.”

 

For more information:

Read the full News Release.

Great Bear Rainforest information on naturally:wood

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2015 Report to Stakeholders now available
Thursday, December 24, 2015

Each year, Forestry Innovation Investment reports on progress made toward growing and strengthening markets for B.C. forest products.

This year’s report includes an overview of...More

Each year, Forestry Innovation Investment reports on progress made toward growing and strengthening markets for B.C. forest products.

This year’s report includes an overview of FII operations, updates on the Wood First initiative in B.C. and updates on the reThink Wood program in North America. You will also find market updates that highlight the achievements of FII, as well as Canada Wood and other funding recipients in the US, China, Japan, South Korea, India and the EU.

This report acts as an important reminder of the partnership and collaboration that underpins our market development programs. It also highlights the contributions made – and the roles played – by the Canadian Government, particularly Natural Resources Canada, the forest industry, and the many trade associations and research institutions that help make these accomplishments possible.

2015 Report to Stakeholders

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FII India hosts networking event for B.C. Minister of Finance and Indian woodworking professionals
Event participants gather for a photo in the FII India Display Centre
Minister de Jong tours the FII India Display Centre
FII India hosts networking event for B.C. Minister of Finance
Friday, December 11, 2015

On December 11, 2015, B.C.’s Minister of Finance, Michael de Jong, made an official visit to Forestry Innovation Consulting India Pvt. Ltd. (FII India) in Mumbai. The Minister, along...More

On December 11, 2015, B.C.’s Minister of Finance, Michael de Jong, made an official visit to Forestry Innovation Consulting India Pvt. Ltd. (FII India) in Mumbai. The Minister, along with senior officials from the Ministry of Finance from the Province of B.C. attended a networking event hosted by FII India at their recently opened showroom. Also in attendance were 40 architects, contractors, carpenters and other professionals from the woodworking industry from around Mumbai.

Following a traditional Indian welcome, Minister de Jong toured the FII India office and recently opened Display Centre. The visit offered a chance for trade professionals to exchange ideas and discuss opportunities with the Minister and the broader Canadian delegation around using B.C. wood in India.

The event provided an excellent platform for Canadian delegates to network with India wood buyers and specifiers. Discussions like these around new opportunities to grow the trade of wood into India may offer considerable opportunities for Canadian lumber suppliers in the future.

“It was indeed a pleasant experience to visit the FII India office and meet the enthusiastic group of woodworking professionals. We hope that the affable and friendly Canada-India relationship continues for years to come.” – Honourable Michael de Jong, Minister of Finance

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Pudong delegation expresses interest in B.C. wood products and systems during visit
Pudong delegation expresses interest in B.C. wood products and systems during visit
Wednesday, December 2, 2015

On November 30, 2015, Forestry Innovation Investment hosted a Chinese delegation from Shanghai’s Pudong district, led by Mr. Shen Jibao, Deputy Director-General of Pudong’s Construction...More

On November 30, 2015, Forestry Innovation Investment hosted a Chinese delegation from Shanghai’s Pudong district, led by Mr. Shen Jibao, Deputy Director-General of Pudong’s Construction and Transportation Commission. Several other representatives from the Construction and Transportation Commission, as well as representatives from the Housing Development and Security Centre and the Pudong Major Project Management Office accompanied the Deputy Director-General.

The team of government officials visited B.C. to confirm their commitment to maintaining a close bilateral relationship with the Province of B.C., to explore how we build and operate public facilities in Canada, and how Chinese authorities may adopt B.C. forest products and building systems in a market that is increasingly recognizing the benefits of building with wood.

Following a roundtable discussion held at FII’s office in Vancouver, the delegation toured Kiwanis Garden Village, a housing project for seniors in West Vancouver. The delegation then toured the West Vancouver Aquatic Centre and North Vancouver City Hall. The tour concluded with a visit to VanDusen Gardens. 

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Renewed agreement advances wood use in China
Renewed agreement advances wood use in China
Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Canadian and B.C. governments renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chinese National Ministry of Housing and Urban Development today. The memorandum is an important...More

The Canadian and B.C. governments renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chinese National Ministry of Housing and Urban Development today. The memorandum is an important part of developing and growing markets for high-quality, sustainably produced Canadian wood products.

The signing took place during the 2015 Forestry Asia Trade Mission led by Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson.

The Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban and Rural Development is responsible for drafting policies, laws and development plans related to city, village and town planning and construction, as well as the building industry and municipal works. The ministry also sets national standards for construction projects, including directing housing construction and managing the real estate industry.

This agreement is a renewal of an existing MOU that was signed in March 2010 to explore how modern wood frame technology can enhance the energy efficiency of buildings and support the goal of reducing carbon emissions in China’s construction sector.

The agreement maintains the joint working committee on China’s Modern Wood Frame Construction Technology Project. In China, memoranda of understanding are the first steps toward increasing commercial activity.

Thomson also met with the China Society for Urban Studies to explore how the society, Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. and Canada Wood could work together to promote “green” building techniques and sustainable urban development. The China Society for Urban Studies is a non-profit research institute affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban and Rural Development. It provides advice on initiatives such as eco-cities and green building technology.

Trade missions are a critical part of British Columbia’s strategy to diversify its international trading partners and secure new investment, propelling economic activity and job creation throughout the province.

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Minister Steve Thomson and 2015 Forestry Asia trade mission delegatesMinister Steve Thomson and 2015 Forestry Asia trade mission delegates visit Japan
New BC Wood showroom and office launched in Tokyo
Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The BC Wood Specialties Group (BC Wood), which promotes the use of British Columbian wood products internationally, has a brand-new office and showroom in the heart of Tokyo to highlight...More

The BC Wood Specialties Group (BC Wood), which promotes the use of British Columbian wood products internationally, has a brand-new office and showroom in the heart of Tokyo to highlight the quality of value-added wood products from British Columbia.

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson officially opened the facility during the 2015 Forestry Asia Trade Mission. The new showroom illustrates the ongoing commitment by the B.C. government, the Canadian government and the forest industry to supply the Japanese market with value-added wood products. It will also allow the country’s builders and developers to learn more about the advantages of using B.C. timber.

Trade mission delegates were joined at the official opening by representatives of the Tokyu Corporation, which recently incorporated B.C. western red cedar in its nearby Log Road Daikanyama commercial development. This high-profile project was completed in April 2015 and consists of five buildings constructed along a 220-metre stretch of the Tokyu Toyoko railway line. The site covers 3,200 square metres and contains 1,900 square metres of retail space.

Trade missions are a critical part of British Columbia’s strategy to diversify its international trading partners and secure new investment, propelling economic activity and job creation throughout the province.

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