British Columbia signs agreement with China's Zhejiang province encouraging greater co-operation in wood-frame construction; Zhejiang's GDP is China's fourth-highest at more than US$550B, 40 million people expected to live in its cities by 2020

HANGZHOU, CHINA , October 22, 2013 (press release) – In an important step toward a stronger working relationship between B.C. and China's Zhejiang province, both governments signed an agreement encouraging greater co-operation in wood-frame construction, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today.

Along with enhancing co-operation and communication between the two governments, the letter of intent on strategic co-operation aims to promote the use and application of wood-frame construction in Zhejiang, in accordance with China's environmentally friendly, low-carbon building policies. The agreement also calls for a co-operative effort to develop construction and fire codes in Zhejiang favourable to wood-frame construction, and for an ongoing exchange of technological and other information.

The agreement was signed by Thomson and Tan Yuemin, Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development for the Province of Zhejiang, which develops and implements policies related to housing and the overall development of the real-estate sector.

The Province of Zhejiang has expressed interest in developing wood-frame construction expertise in its growing tourism sector and other applications. In China, memoranda of understanding are the first step toward increasing commercial activity.

Thomson made the announcement during the 2013 Forestry Asia Trade Mission. Trade missions are a critical part of British Columbia's strategy to diversify its international trading partners and secure new investment, propelling economic activity and job creation throughout the province. In June 2013, Premier Christy Clark committed Thomson to co-sponsoring annual trade missions to Asia with the forest industry.

Quote:

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson -

"The agreement is part of our ongoing efforts to build stronger ties to China and enhance B.C.'s position as the Pacific Gateway. At the same time, we have been working with the government of Zhejiang to introduce B.C.'s wood-frame construction technology to state-owned developers and real-estate companies in the province."

Quick Facts:

  • Zhejiang Province is a wealthy province located in the Yangtze Delta region. Its GDP is the fourth-highest in China at over US$550 billion. Its per-capita income is sixth in the country at over US$10,000.
  • By 2020, Zhejiang plans to have more than 40 million people residing in its cities.
  • Zhejiang is well-known in China for its rolling hills and rivers and lakes. The province wants to pursue sustainable development to maintain its reputation as an eco-friendly tourism destination.
  • Wood-frame construction is a relatively new but growing technology in China. For example, use of the technology in China's growing resort construction sector was almost non-existent five years ago.

Learn More:

Photos from the 2013 Forestry Asia Trade Mission are available here: http://ow.ly/pCHMa

BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca

Building our Natural Advantage: Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia: www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/forestsectorstrategy/

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