OTTAWA, April 24, 2017 /CNW/ - Canada's forest industry has transformed itself into one of the most innovative sectors of our economy, investing in research, developing new products and expanding its markets as it also sets the pace on environmental performance.
Hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers and their local communities depend upon this industry's continued success to support good middle-class jobs, create new opportunities and ensure sustainable prosperity for generations to come.
Federal cabinet ministers are targeting new markets around the globe in a concerted effort to enhance trade and market diversification for Canadian wood and wood products as part of the clean-growth economy.
International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne is in China to promote the use of Canadian wood in home construction while Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, is in Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam to explore further opportunities for Canadian wood exporters in the Asia-Pacific region.
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, will also lead a delegation of Canadian forestry leaders to China in early June to maintain momentum from Minister Champagne's efforts this week.
These trade missions build on the $6 million in funding provided this year by Natural Resources Canada's Expanding Market Opportunities program to eight Canadian forest product associations to promote Canadian wood products in overseas markets, and $18 million to FPInnovations for research and development. In addition, Budget 2017 announced measures to continue investing in Canada's forest sector, including $40 million over four years to support projects and activities that increase the use of wood in construction. This helps create new markets for sustainable Canadian products.
These initiatives are part of the Government of Canada's continuing effort to maintain and increase access to global markets for Canadian wood and wood products.
- Canada's wood products are exported to more than 140 different countries.
- Ongoing diversification efforts to promote Canadian wood products have boosted Canadian exports to China by more than 25 times — to $1.6 billion — since 2002.
- The value of softwood lumber exports to China has increased more than 30 times, to $1 billion.
- Since 2002, wood product exports to South Korea, Southeast Asia and the U.K. have increased by over 200 percent to over $700 million.
"Canada's forest industry is uniquely positioned to help address some of the biggest challenges facing our country: combating climate change, driving innovation, creating jobs for Indigenous and rural communities and advancing trade. Our government will vigorously defend its interests as a way to strengthen the industry and support the people and communities that rely upon it."
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources
"Canada will not be deterred and will vigorously defend our industry. We will also seek new opportunities and provide greater access to the burgeoning economies of the world for Canada's high-quality products, notably softwood, where my mission to China has been met with eagerness to explore the sustainable, eco-friendly and safe softwood products where our industry excels. We will leave no stone unturned. Canada's softwood will help build the economies of tomorrow, especially in Asia, and together we will ensure the future prosperity of our producers and the good jobs they sustain."
Canada's Minister of International Trade
"Thousands of middle-class Canadian jobs depend on our wood and wood products. Our government is firmly committed to promoting and defending the interests of workers and producers from across Canada. My colleagues and I will continue to work very closely with the industry, its workers, the provinces and territories to ensure continued success at home and abroad."
Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs
"Our government stands ready to take action to protect and support the workers, families and communities who may be affected by the softwood lumber trade dispute. The softwood lumber industry is a priority for our government, as this industry provides employment in communities across the country and is a source of economic prosperity."
Canada's Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada
For further information: Alexandre Deslongchamps, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Natural Resources, 343-292-6837; Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 343-292-6100