British Columbia to invest C$6.1M in industry groups developing new markets for wood products, prioritizing China, Japan, India, South Korea; a similar initiative targeting China in 2003 increased softwood lumber exports by nearly 2,000% over 10 years

VICTORIA, British Columbia , April 4, 2014 (press release) – The Government of British Columbia is investing $6.1 million to build new markets around the world for B.C. wood products, including priority markets in China, Japan, India and South Korea.

The funding is being provided to eight industry trade associations that operate market development programs in Asia, the United States, and other major markets, including Europe. Market development support is also being provided by the federal government, through Natural Resources Canada, and by industry.

British Columbia’s contribution is being distributed through Forestry Innovation Investment (FII), the province’s market development agency for forest products. FII also manages the Wood First program, which fosters the innovative use of wood and wood building systems in British Columbia, and other programs that promote the many environmental benefits of B.C. forest products.

The B.C. funding announcement was made jointly today by Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson, attending the Council of Forest Industries annual meeting in Kelowna, and by Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat, the minister responsible for FII. Building global markets for B.C. wood products is a central part of the BC Jobs Plan, the government’s strategy for spurring economic activity and job creation throughout the province.

Collaboration with industry and the federal government in the delivery of international marketing programs has been a successful model for B.C. Since the government and industry set up a joint program in 2003 to target the Chinese market, B.C. softwood lumber exports to China have increased by close to 2,000 per cent, totalling $1.4 billion in 2013.

Through the joint delivery model, provincial funding of $6.1 million will be leveraged with additional contributions from industry and the federal government.

See the attached Backgrounder for the list of trade associations receiving funding from FII in 2014-15.


Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat -

“Partnering with industry to expand and open markets in Asia is a major priority for our government. And it is a good deal for taxpayers as every dollar invested by the Province in this program is leveraging additional contributions from our partners in industry, and the federal government.”

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

“Building and maintaining international markets helps keep mills across B.C. open and protects the tens of thousands of jobs that depend on the forest economy. The provincial funding we are announcing today will help maintain B.C.’s leadership position in major markets around the world.”

Council of Forest Industries president and CEO James Gorman -

“British Columbia leads the world in supplying softwood lumber products, a position that has been achieved through the hard work of the industry with the strong support of the B.C. government and the Government of Canada. These funds will help keep the current rebound in forest markets going through 2014 and beyond.”

Quick Facts:

  • B.C. is a world leader in softwood lumber production and exports, with 80% of industry output sold outside the province.
  • More than 40% of regional economies across B.C. are dependent on forestry.
  • In 2013, B.C. exported $5.3 billion in softwood lumber exports.
Learn More: connects B.C. companies and communities with international opportunities and promotes our competitive advantages to investors and decision makers around the world.

Learn more about the BC Jobs Plan at:


Market Initiatives Funding in 2014-15

Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) manages an annual, competitive call for proposals process to fund market access and market development initiatives. A 12-member evaluation panel, with representatives from FII, the federal government and the forest industry, reviewed and scored the funding applications received in response to the 2014-15 call for proposals.

This year, the following organizations will receive funding:

BC Wood Specialties Group ($653,000)
  • Organize the 2014 Global Buyers Mission in Whistler to connect pre-qualified international wood products buyers with B.C. value-added wood product manufacturers.
  • Develop market opportunities and increase sales in India, China, Japan, South Korea, and Eastern Europe.
  • Pursue niche opportunities for value added wood products in Canada and the U.S.
Canada Wood Group ($3.34 million)
  • In China: expand the use of B.C. wood products in the housing sector by providing training and job-site quality assurance, and address limitations in current building and fire codes and standards.
  • In Japan: develop innovative building solutions to expand the use of B.C. species in non-residential applications.
  • In South Korea: address codes and standards constraints and deliver wood-frame construction training to support innovative building solutions, such as multi-family and hybrid systems and infill walls.
  • Expand the B.C. forest products sector’s representation with market access and development teams in China, Japan, Korea, India and Europe.
  • Address phytosanitary concerns and product-acceptance issues in global markets for B.C. wood products.
Coast Forest Products Association ($126,000)
  • In Japan: facilitate the commercial adoption of B.C. coast species by builders, architects, pre-cutters through a wide array of in-market activities, such as presentations, seminars and technical support.
  • In China: increase awareness and technical knowledge of coastal species by providing end-users and supply chain members with a greater understanding of B.C. species, products and grading rules to create demand in landscape and appearance grade applications.
Council of Forest Industries ($282,000)
  • In China: Make building professionals, developers, media and various levels of government aware of the benefits of modern wood frame construction.
  • In Japan: Expand opportunities for spruce-pine-fir (SPF) lumber and promote wood-frame construction in the non-residential sector and in large-scale structures. Support the use of SPF products in the post and beam sector.
  • In South Korea: Grow the use of SPF lumber in multi-storey-multi-unit buildings, in infill wall systems, and in outdoor applications (preservative treated).
Engineered Wood Products Association (APA) ($65,000)
  • Expand Canadian-oriented strandboard (OSB) exports to Japan by addressing remaining technical barriers to trade, and through market promotion and technical education of Japanese specifiers about OSB's performance attributes and benefits.
Western Red Cedar Lumber Association ($911,000)
  • Promote Western red cedar as a superior green building material for use in the repair and remodel sector and the do-it-yourself segment. The program covers public relations work, print and online advertising, electronic media, and a broad collection of technical and promotional literature, as well as exhibiting at selected high-impact trade events in the U.S. and Canada.
Wood Pellet Association of Canada ($30,000)
  • Communicate the carbon-related benefits and sustainability of Canadian wood pellets to the European industrial and heating sectors, improve the regulatory environment for wood pellets, and work toward improving ocean shipping logistics.
Wood Products Council ($743,000)
  • Promote the use of wood in a variety of non-residential and multi-unit construction projects in the United States.
  • Provide technical advice, education and support to the design community to enable greater understanding and use of wood in non-residential and industrial settings.
  • Support the expansion of U.S. demand for innovative wood products and building systems.
Note: This list covers FII’s funding to the Market Initiatives Program, excluding the Wood First program.

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