OTTAWA, Feb. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is pleased that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has highlighted the exceptional growth of Canadian lumber exports to China. The industry recognizes the important partnership role the federal government has played in its success in China through programs to support the industry's market diversification efforts overseas.
The Prime Minister today visited the China-Canada Green Building Design Centre, one of the largest wood frame buildings in China, to underscore Canada's achievement as China's largest supplier of lumber.
"We value this government's promotion of our lumber exports, especially in China, which is by far our fastest growing export market," says Avrim Lazar, the President and CEO of FPAC. "New markets, especially China and India, are fundamental to the future prospects of Canada's forest products sector and the commitment of our Prime Minister to helping our forest industry diversify in such markets around the world will definitely help the industry succeed."
Lazar underscored the importance of the Canada Wood Export Program especially in the Asia-Pacific Region, especially with the ongoing challenges in the U.S. market. "We agree with the Prime Minister when he says that record-high Canadian lumber exports to China have created jobs and economic opportunities for Canadians. Market diversification has truly been a life-saver for jobs and for rural communities who rely on the health of the Canadian forest sector," says Lazar. "And the government deserves credit for being a vital partner in our successful market expansion."
Forest products are now Canada's top export to both India and China. Canadian wood exports to China grew to $835 million in 2010, up 119 percent from 2009. During the first eleven months of 2011, wood products were Canada's third largest export to China, totalling $1.36 billion and expected to exceed $1.5 billion in 2011.
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 240,000 direct jobs across the country.
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