B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson exchanges gifts with Chul-Hee Kang, president of the Korea Institute of Architects, during trade mission to Asia. (B.C. government)

B.C. lumber industry trade mission still has high hopes for China

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson cut short trip after Japan, Korea stops

Most forest industry representatives on B.C.’s annual trade mission to Asia are carrying on to China this week, but Forests Minister Doug Donaldson and government officials aren’t joining them.

Donaldson said Monday he decided not to join forest company executives on the final leg of the journey due to diplomatic tensions between Canada and China over the arrest of a Chinese high-tech executive in Vancouver.

“Under the current circumstances, a government minister joining business people would add a different dynamic,” Donaldson told reporters in a conference call from Japan.

Susan Yurkovich, CEO of the Council of Forest Industries, said B.C. companies have long-standing relationships with Chinese, Korean and Japanese companies and the ones on this year’s trip are carrying on with their meetings.

The Chinese government summoned Canada’s ambassador to warn of consequences this weekend after Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei was arrested at the request of U.S. authorities.

Yurkovich flew to China Monday to join members of B.C.’s largest-ever trade mission to Asia, joined by executives of major forest companies including Interfor, West Fraser and Canfor as well as specialty wood manufacturers. Donaldson said meetings and agreement signings arranged between B.C. and Chinese officials will be rescheduled to a later date.

Japan, China and Korea together now represent about 30 per cent of B.C.’s export market and there is more growth potential as wood construction technology improves and the environmental benefits of wood buildings replacing concrete are realized, Yurkovich said.

While in Korea, the group toured a housing development near Seoul, sponsored by the Canadian industry to showcase modern wood construction techniques.

Korea has moved up to become B.C.’s fifth largest forest products export market, and China remains number two after the United States. Japan is B.C.’s longest-standing Asian wood customer, using cedar and other high-grade lumber in its traditional wood frame construction.

The B.C. and Canadian governments co-sponsor demonstration projects and research in all three countries, to develop new innovations such as mass timber and high-rise construction using engineered wood.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ballenas Whalers players earn gridiron all-star nods

Pair of local standouts also earn MVP accolades

Four generations of logging and mining stories in one Parksville show

John Gogo will share regional stories, family history, song at Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge

New chess club starts up in Qualicum Beach

Replaces Bishops of Bowser, which shut down operations in September

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read