Forest industry presses to deepen economic ties with China

Pulp & Paper Canada
August 17, 2012
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is urging the government to follow through on the conclusion of the Canada-China Economic Complementarities Study which states that Canada and China should continue to strengthen their bilateral trade and investment ties.

The study was released mid-August by the Honourable Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and China’s Minister of Commerce Chen Deming.

“Growing our exports to overseas markets, especially China, is vital to our vision and the future prospects of Canada's forest products sector,” says Catherine Cobden, the president and CEO of FPAC. “We agree with this study which highlights the benefit of deeper Canada-China trade and investment ties."

Increased exports are also essential for the forest products industry to reach its Vision2020 goal of generating an additional $20 billion in economic activity from new innovations and growing markets

Forest products are already Canada's number one export sector to China. Since 2001, the industry has increased its wood exports to China by 45 times. Total Canadian forest products exports to China exceeded $4 billion in 2011.

On the subject of natural resources, the executive summary of the Economic Complementarities Study states: “Canada is well positioned as a reliable supplier to meet China’s needs and to provide innovative solutions for the sustainable use and efficient management of China’s natural resources. In Canada, China’s growing interest in natural resources is adding to the diversity of investment sources available to develop capital-intensive Canadian natural resources projects. To take advantage of complementarities in this sector, further improvements could be made to the clarity, efficiency and predictability of inward investment-related regulations, the compatibility of certification systems and the expediency of approval processes on goods such as equipment.”

“We truly appreciate the important role the federal government has already played in supporting the sector's market diversification efforts overseas especially in China," says Cobden. “Record-high sales of Canadian forest products to China are creating jobs and economic opportunities for Canadians especially in rural communities that rely on the health of the forest sector.”

FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs.

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