Canada's Minister of Natural Resources speaks at PaperWeek in Montreal, highlights importance of partnerships, innovation, market expansion to sustain jobs, recognizes value of partnering with forest products companies particularly in Asia-Pacific region

MONTREAL , February 1, 2012 (press release) – The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, today addressed representatives of Canada’s forest industry at a luncheon speech at PaperWeek 2012 in Montreal. The Minister highlighted the importance of partnerships, innovation and market expansion to the future of Canada’s forest industry in helping to sustain jobs in rural communities across the country.

“Our Government's top priority remains the economy,” said Minister Oliver. “We continue to invest in communities and initiatives that will make Canadian forest products even more attractive in the global marketplace. With the economic recovery still fragile, we continue to take action to protect and create important forest sector jobs across Canada.”

Minister Oliver acknowledged the industry’s resilience in facing a prolonged period of challenges and its desire to reinvent itself by greening its operations and developing innovative products with greater value-added.

The Minister also noted the huge growth in markets for Canada’s forest products, including pulp and paper, particularly in the Asia–Pacific region. He underscored that the Government recognizes the value of partnering with Canadian companies on market access and environmental branding in this and other regions.

Prior to his keynote luncheon speech, Minister Oliver met with industry representatives to discuss future opportunities and challenges for forest companies, which remain a key component of Canada’s economy and continue their transformation.

Support for broader forest sector transformation was provided in The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, which provided $60 million over one year to renew programs that focus on forest sector innovation and market development, including $25.5 million for the Transformative Technologies Program. This program, which is delivered by FPInnovations on behalf of the Government, supports the development and implementation of innovative products and processes, thereby enabling the forest products industry to extract more value from forest resources. For more information, please visit canadaforests.nrcan.gc.ca.

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