B.C. invests nearly $8M to continue advancing wood use
Apr. 10, 2018 - The Government of British Columbia is investing $7.8 million to promote the use of B.C. wood overseas, advance wood building systems and products, and expand global markets.
“Expanding our international markets, especially in Asia, is crucial to the long-term success of B.C.’s forest sector,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, at the Council of Forest Industries’ annual convention in Prince George. “This funding support opens the door to more trade opportunities for B.C. companies, and will lead to greater innovation in the industry.”
Through an annual, competitive call for proposals process, 13 industry trade associations and research institutes were selected to receive funding and deliver market development, or wood innovation programs, on behalf of government and industry. The province’s contribution is being managed through Forestry Innovation Investment, B.C.’s market development agency for forest products. The province says it intends to cost-share these activities, with additional funding provided by B.C. industry and the federal government, through Natural Resources Canada.
“Building with wood has many benefits: its lower carbon footprint, its cost-effectiveness and its versatility,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The funding announced today will help continue to position British Columbia as a preferred supplier of environmentally friendly forest products.”
Of the $7.8 million, $5.985 million will be made available for activities targeted at expanding markets for B.C.’s wood products, with investment priorities that reflect evolving market opportunities in Asia and North America. The remaining $1.852 million will be made available for activities delivered through the Wood First program, which fosters the innovative use of wood and wood building systems in B.C. through research, education, marketing and capacity building.
“The collaborative approach between industry and government toward market development ensures that our sector remains competitive and that we can continue to develop and diversify opportunities for the sector in targeted export markets,” said Susan Yurkovich, president and CEO, Council of Forest Industries.
In 2017, B.C. exported $14.1 billion in forest products – lumber, pulp and paper and other wood products – which represented 32 per cent of the province’s total exports.
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