Market Overview

When FII was launched in 2003, China represented just over one percent of BC’s total exports of softwood lumber products. Since then, the development of the Chinese market for BC wood products has been a priority for the industry. Today, China is BC’s second-largest market for commodity lumber by volume, demonstrating the growth and importance of the Chinese market for BC forest products.

Photo: Nanchang Lotus Book Store, Hubei province | Credit: JinagXi Guojin Green Building Technology Company

Key Stats


of all BC forest product exports go to China (on average over the past 5 years)


of BC's softwood lumber exports go to China (on average over the past 5 years)


codes and standards favourable to wood construction have been advanced since market development efforts began in China

Why China?

  • A large, growing economy
  • Increasing reliance on imported lumber and wood products
  • Strong demand for housing
  • Broad interest in green building technology
  • The shift towards prefabrication that uses advanced wood systems
Photo: Canadian delegates visit Rugao factory demonstration of Shanghai Electric Matechstone Engineering Group (MTS), Jinagsu province | Credit: Canada Wood China

Market Priorities

  • Position wood construction in high priority segments such as cultural buildings, tourism, wellness and elderly care facilities, hybrid construction (wood mixed with concrete/steel) and mid-rise and taller wood construction
  • Increase the use of BC wood in China’s growing wood in manufacturing (WIM) segment
  • Position wood in response to new policies of the Chinese government to encourage low carbon, energy-efficient and prefabricated construction in China
Photo: Hemlock furniture manufactured by Foshan Yiyuan, Guangdong province | Credit: Canada Wood China

Strategic Approach

FII and the Canada Wood Group have worked together since 2003 to develop and grow the market share for BC wood products in China. The market strategy concentrates on higher-value market segments, where product differentiation provides a comparative advantage for BC’s wood products. Activities focus on increasing the value of wood sold, growing wood’s acceptance in construction, and positioning Canadian wood products as high-quality, environmentally friendly and sustainably sourced.

Photo: Xiawei Bhen Boat Rooms on the Fuchun River | Credit: Canada Wood China.

Featured Projects

First Annual Summit on Modern Wood-Frame Construction

More than 40 senior leaders from government, academia and industry in China gathered in Beijing to discuss trends and opportunities in WFC at the First Annual Summit on Modern Wood-Frame Construction, jointly organized by FII China and the China Real Estate Association (CREA). The event—organized as an outcome of the MOU signed between FII, Canada Wood and CREA in 2020—provided a venue for senior officials from MOHURD and the National Forest and Grasslands Administration (NFGA), along with professors from the Beijing Forestry University and a senior fellow from the National Academy of Engineering, as well as executives from major development companies to exchange views on the future of WFC in China. Discussions covered the benefits of wood as an energy-saving and environmentally friendly construction material and opportunities for wood construction in China as they relate to addressing global climate issues and China’s carbon neutrality pledge. Among key conclusions of the Summit were that China is well positioned to develop WFC in the future and that sustainable wood use can help China achieve its environmental protection and carbon reduction objectives. This event represented the first occasion to bring together so many leaders from across separate departments in government and the construction industry for a focused discussion on WFC. The participants felt the program was successful and expressed interest in holding the summit annually as a high-level invitation-only event to further expand knowledge and uptake of WFC across China, as well as agreeing to support a joint forum as a public event to promote WFC at the 17th International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building. The annual summit will serve as an important mechanism for ongoing collaborations between FII, CREA and other local stakeholders to pool resources for joint activities to advance wood construction in China. This MOU builds on previous successes with MTS over the past four years, such as the first commercial trial of the concrete-wood infill wall system developed by Matechstone in 2019, using prefabricated energy-saving cladding. Now, this MOU will facilitate the initial commercial application of infill walls at the Anhui Bengbu Qinghe Garden community facilities in Anhui Province.

Photo: The First Annual Summit on Modern Wood-Frame Construction | Credit: Canada Wood China

Wood projects win green building endorsement

Two wood projects were among 16 winners of China’s National Green Building Innovation Prize which recognizes outstanding projects that contribute to China’s green building development. The two wood winners are the main pavilion of the 10th Jiangsu Horticultural Exposition in Yangzhou city, Jiangsu province; and the Haikou Citizen & Visitor Centre located in Haikou city, Hainan province.

Green building development is a significant priority for the Chinese government and the National Green Building Innovation Prize was created to incentivize innovation in the areas of energy efficiency, environmental protection, waste reduction and sustainable practices in the construction industry—areas where sustainable wood products and building designs offer a significant advantage.

Photo: Haikou Citizen & Visitor Centre, Haikou city, Hainan province. Designed as a multi-function center with an urban planning exhibition hall, municipal affairs service centre and visitor centre the project has a total construction area of 29,800 m2 | Credit: Crown Homes

17th International Green Building and Energy Efficiency Conference

With approximately half of China’s total annual carbon emissions coming from the construction sector, the International Green Building and Energy Efficiency Conference serves as an important platform for the advancement of China’s green building targets. The theme of the 17th annual conference, held in May 2021, was, “building carbon neutrality and a new green production system”.
Michael Loseth, President and CEO of FII, delivered a video presentation on behalf of the Canadian forest industry to some 3,600 participants at the main forum. The presentation—a first for FII at the annual conference—focused on the benefits of wood construction in reducing carbon emissions. Having the topic of wood construction featured in the main forum was significant, as it is led by government officials from major departments and reflects the industry’s expanding recognition of wood’s role in construction.

Photo: The International Green Building and Energy Efficiency Conference | Credit: Canada Wood China

Regional summits focus on low-carbon development

To further promote the benefits of wood construction in low-carbon development, FII undertook a substantial outreach program within
three priority provinces across 2021 with support from Canada Wood China and the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai. The culmination of these efforts was the delivery of three regional summits held in the provinces of Zhejiang (September 27-29), Jiangsu (October 13-15) and Hubei (November 16-18).
The summits provided a platform for high-level exchanges on themes relevant to government planning, policy innovation, technical research and low-carbon development case studies. The exchanges, in turn, fostered discussions among senior provincial government representatives on prospects for bilateral cooperation in areas such as carbon neutrality, advanced construction and green development, all of which factor directly in the future development of the market for environmentally sustainable wood construction in China.
While national regulations and plans for issues such as carbon neutrality and green building are set by ministries and central government authorities in Beijing, the responsibility for determining how these directions will be implemented rests at the provincial level, making these three summits key to advancing B.C.’s messaging on wood products and the environment.

108 media reports were generated from three events

Photo: Professor Cheng Xiaowu of Nanjing Tech University introducing the wooden pavilion building design of Jiangsu Horticultural Expo | Credit: Canada Wood China

Prefab solutions focus on culture, tourism, wellness and elderly care

Promoting the advantages of wood products and wood-based construction in China’s culture, tourism, wellness and elderly care (CTWE) sector is a strategic priority for the market development program in China. While the majority of homes in North America use light-wood frame construction, in China there are urban density requirements in cities where most residential units are around 20 storeys or higher and are built using concrete. Nonresidential properties have a greater number of potential projects that can be one to six storeys tall, particularly those designed for social services such as museums, art centres, tourism centres, as well as facilities designed for the delivery of wellness and elderly care. These projects are publicly funded, so there is interest from the government departments responsible for their design and construction to demonstrate their adherence to national green building policies. This segment represents a large-scale  opportunity given the number of cities and counties across China that are building new projects for these industries. As publicly funded projects continue to demonstrate the possibilities for wood construction in this space, more interest is growing from private industry developers looking to invest into similar areas for commercial projects.

Photo: Eric Wong, Managing Director of Canada Wood China and Zhang Tao, President of the Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design and Research sign MOU agreement at the 2021 Prefab Wood Structure Forum in Guangzhou. | Credit: Canada Wood China

Sino-Canadian Wood Forum reaches millions

The seventh annual Sino-Canadian Wood Forum took place on January 18, 2022. Focused on the role of wood industries in revitalizing China, event topics included rural development, innovation in cultural and tourism industries, carbon neutrality, the green development of construction industries and the promotion of wood building applications for rural revitalization. Rural areas account for close to 40 percent of China’s total population which represents 15 times the population of Canada.

While COVID restrictions limited in-person participation at this year’s event, the Forum was broadcasted online through multiple media platforms providing FII and Canada Wood the opportunity to deliver wood messaging to an audience of more than 2.5 million industry professionals, academics and government officials, vastly expanding the impact and influence of the event.

Photo: Jean-Christian Brillant, Minister (Commercial) at Canadian Embassy in China speaking at the seventh annual Sino-Canadian Wood Forum | Credit: Canada Wood China

Shandong, Yangxin Demonstration Project

The Ten Thousand Mu1 Pear Garden Tourism Center, located in Yangxin county of Shandong province, is a flagship project for the Jinyang Ten Thousand Mu Pear Garden scenic area. This building was the result of an MOU that Canada Wood China signed with the People’s Government of Yangxin County, Shandong province in August 2020. As one of the projects under the framework of the agreement, Yangxin Pear Tourist Center was funded by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and built with Canadian lumber and engineered wood products to showcase the possibilities for green and low-carbon modern wood-frame construction. It will be open to the public as a Sino-Canadian demonstration project that highlights the potential applications of wood construction for rural revitalization programs in China.

Photo: Shandong Yangxin Demostration Project | Credit: Canada Wood China