British Columbia’s government has pledged to increase its forestry investment by an extra 17 per cent in order to enable the region to promote its products to the Chinese market.
The money spent in the 2009/10 fiscal year on marketing in China will be $13 million, up from $8.6 million this year.
British Columbia’s forests minister, Pat Bell, stated: “This increased funding allows us to pursue some tremendous near-term commercial opportunities – like roof trusses, in-fill walls and partition walls – as we continue to develop longer-term prospects like multi-storey wood-frame construction.”
The extra investment comes on the heels of an increase in sales of softwood lumber from the region to China so far this year, reaching record highs of 860 million board feet.
Traditionally the British Columbia forestry industry has heavily relied on the US market, but has recently diversified by focusing on marketing products to China. This move helped the region to cope with the loss of business through the housing slump in the US.
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China is now the top offshore market for the British Columbian forestry industry in terms of volume.