Canfor CEO stresses importance of government-led trade missions in building Chinese market for British Columbian wood, says province has shipped lumber worth more than C$4.7B since 2003 using trade missions as 'key element' of market strategy

LOS ANGELES , November 12, 2013 () – The president and CEO of Canfor Corp. has stressed the importance of government-led trade missions in developing offshore markets for lumber and building a strong brand for British Columbia's wood products.

In a letter published by The Vancouver Sun on Nov. 12, Don Kayne wrote that British Columbia's forest industry had shipped lumber worth more than C$4.7 billion to China since 2003, and noted that the figure was even more striking when considering that lumber shipments to China were minimal before that date.

Kayne said that China, now the province's largest offshore market for forest products, was built over a decade through "exceptional collaboration" between the British Columbian government and the forest sector. A strategic and methodical course had been charted to build the market, said Kayne, adding that lumber sales to China had supported jobs, families and communities across the province.

Government-led trade missions remain a key element of that market development plan, said Kayne, and had helped build a strong brand for the province's wood products. He said a unified presence between industry and government sent a strong message of commitment to markets.

The trade missions have been used by the province's forest industry to make business introductions and develop relationships, said Kayne. They have also helped to formalize training programs to teach local engineers how to build with wood and sign memorandums of understanding to advance wood frame construction projects.

According to Kayne, international trade is the single largest determinant of the province's prosperity, and trade missions have brought "real, tangible benefits" to British Columbians.

Kayne said there was more work to do to open up international markets for British Columbian products, which was why Canfor had been pleased to join Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Steve Thomson on his trade mission to China and Japan in October, and why Canfor will join Premier Christy Clark on Nov. 21 on a 13-day trade mission to China, Korea and Japan.

Kayne said Canfor appreciated the support that companies in British Columbia receive from the government to grow international market opportunities, and would use the latest trade mission to promote Canfor and its products to potential new customers.

The primary source of this article is a letter from Don Kayne, President and CEO of Canfor Corp., published in The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, British Columbia , on Nov. 12, 2013.

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