Promoting opportunities for British Columbia-China collaboration in wood construction, tourism and energy was the focus of Premier John Horgan’s visit to Beijing, which also included a wood and green-building policy forum.
“China is increasingly focused on environmentally sustainable construction, and B.C. is taking every opportunity to promote the environmental benefits of wood building products and systems,” said Premier Horgan. “We are not only marketing wood products and technologies, but also engaging with key government policy and decision makers, so we can expand markets for B.C. forestry products.”
The forum — led by Canada Wood China, experts from B.C. and China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development — shared best practices on wood construction, with a focus on opportunities for B.C. to collaborate with Chinese companies in advancing low-carbon development.
To build on opportunities resulting from the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism and an increased interest in winter sport in China, the delegation also hosted a reception for key tourism operators and influencers. Themed “Ski British Columbia”, the reception featured virtual reality/360 ski videos, interactive ski areas and B.C. agrifoods and seafood.
“The number of tourists travelling from China to our province is growing all the time. With the upcoming Olympics, we now have a major opportunity to build awareness of B.C. as a prime winter ski destination, in addition to a beautiful area to visit in spring and summer,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “While visits from China to B.C. continue to grow, we want Chinese tourists to know that we are ready and keen to welcome them to experience B.C.’s spectacular ski resorts and other destinations.”
The Beijing leg of the Asia mission also included bilateral meetings with key energy stakeholders in China, and a cross-industry range of investors and entrepreneurs with interest or active projects in B.C.
“Our robust economy, abundant natural resources and stable business environment offer excellent opportunities for Chinese investors,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “The groundwork we’re laying in China today will help attract investment, promote exports and, most importantly, lead to job creation in B.C.”
“Business in China is about building relationships,” said George Chow, Minister of State for Trade. “Through face-to-face meetings with government and business leaders, we’re engaging corporate investors and entrepreneurs to promote B.C. as a competitive destination for trade and investment.”
- B.C. goods exports to China totalled $5.9 billion in 2016, making China B.C.’s second-largest export market.
- China was also Canada’s second-largest export destination, with 4.3% of Canadian goods shipped there.
- The 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism was launched by the governments of Canada and China to celebrate and promote tourism opportunities between the two countries.
- In 2016, there were 312,668 overnight customs entries to British Columbia. China is B.C.’s second-largest market, after the U.S.
- The Chinese ski market has seen a rapid growth in the last two decades, growing from about 10,000 skiers in 1996 to a reported 12 million in 2015.
Wood and Wood Products:
- China is B.C.’s largest market for wood products in Asia by both volume and value, and the second-largest market overall, after the U.S.
- In 2016, B.C. exported over $1 billion of softwood lumber to China, up from $69 million in 2003, an increase of more than 1,400%.
- B.C. remains the second-largest supplier of softwood lumber to China, after Russia.