Forest industry welcomes trade deal with Korea

OTTAWA, March 11, 2014 /CNW/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) today expressed its support for the free trade agreement reached between Canada and Korea as the sector continues to pursue expanded markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The hundreds of communities across Canada who depend on a strong forest products industry benefit from a strong export agenda," said the President and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay. "The signing of this deal will help the forest products industry continue to diversify its markets.  We encourage the government to continue advocating for more open international relations, freer trade and the necessary infrastructure to support a strong export agenda."  

This deal will make Canadian wood products much more competitive with the elimination of duties that range from 1-10%.  It will also help to prevent discriminatory practices affecting Canadian wood products entering Korea based on production methods or other factors.

Last year, the Canadian forest sector exported more than $500 million worth of wood, pulp and paper products to South Korea, making it Canada's fourth largest export market. Over half of those products came from western Canada. Pulp currently makes up the largest portion of forest products exported to South Korea. 

"As part of our Vision2020 initiative, the industry aims to increase its revenue through new markets and innovations," says Lindsay. "This trade deal expands our access to the Asia-Pacific region which provides excellent market opportunities for our industry's traditional and transformed products."

A robust trade agenda, including ongoing marketing and promotion partnerships with our embassies and trade offices, as well as a reliable transportation and infrastructure system throughout this vast country, will help the Canadian forest products industry reach its Vision2020 goal of adding $20 billion to Canada's economic activity.

FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $57-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.

SOURCE FOREST PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

For further information: Susan Murray, Executive Director, Public Relations, Forest Products Association of Canada, smurray@fpac.ca, 613-563-1441 x313; Follow us on Twitter: @FPAC_APFC; Read our President's Blog at: http://www.fpac.ca/index.php/en/blog