Forests Minister Doug Donaldson | Jeff Slack, My PG Now

Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson leads over 30 senior executives into China and Japan this week for a forest sector delegation.

Many of the delegates are from Northern B.C., much to the delight of Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad.

“The largest production certainly comes from our area of the province, in the interior and up into the north,” says Rustad.

“So having delegates from our area partaking in this is an important part of continuing to support what we have as an industry.”

They will meet with customers and government officials, looking at ways to raise the value of the products being exported from the British Columbia.

This is the largest-ever mission of the kind for the province.

China and Japan are the second and third biggest market, respectively, for B.C.

Last year alone, the province’s softwood lumber exports totaled over $1-billion to China; while exporting $725-million to Japan.

In China, the participants will look at how B.C.’s export can help the country meet prefabrication and green building goals.

Delegates will tour sites in Japan and focus on expanding the use of wood in multi-family and non-residential construction and applications for higher-value engineered wood products.

“We need to continue to diversify and expand markets for B.C. wood products, both at home and abroad,” Donaldson says.

“Forestry is one of B.C.’s founding industries, and an important part of a sustainable economy, that in 2016 supported more than 60,000 workers and their families in communities throughout B.C.”

The trade mission runs from November 12th – 17th.