Premier Christy Clark has said “Today’s announcement marks a significant advancement for B.C.’s market development strategy for wood products in India, one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Partnerships that help build demand in India will ensure that forestry – the province’s largest manufacturing industry and number one exporter – continues to play a key role in our economy, now and in the future.”
Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism (on trade diversification) has said that “The Province and the forest industry continue to diversify markets for B.C. forest products, with a particular focus on fast-growing markets in Asia. Supporting the adoption of B.C. wood products and species is part of our long-term strategy in India that will lead to new opportunities for B.C. businesses.”
Premier Christy Clark said that the largest shipment of mass timber from British Columbia to India is en route.The shipment also includes lumber and will be used in the first major commercial wood demonstration project to showcase B.C. forest products in India.
As India’s economy grows, traditional wood supply cannot meet increasing demand. As a leading supplier of sustainable forest products, British Columbia is seen as an attractive long-term supplier. Support for the project is being provided by the Government of B.C.’s market development agency for forest products, Forestry Innovation Investment (FII), through its India office.
The wood products will be used to construct a facility housing several design workshops at India’s Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University located in Ahmedabad, Gujurat State and will serve as a showcase to help grow awareness and demand in India for B.C. wood products.
Incorporating wood, concrete and steel, the project will not only inspire the school’s students who work and design with wood, but will also be a model of sustainable architecture and environmental responsibility for the Indian design community. By introducing Canadian wood species through special projects and course curriculum, the university sees the project as providing a long-term opportunity for collaboration with British Columbia and Canada.
In addition to the glue-laminated arches for the roof assembly supplied by Penticton-based Structurlam, other B.C. wood products, including those made of hemlock, Douglas fir and yellow cedar, are being used extensively throughout the project in a range of interior and exterior applications. These products are being supplied by Surrey’s Coast Clear Wood and through a donation of lumber from the Coast Forest Products Association.
During an October 2016 trade mission to India, Finance Minister Michael de Jong visited the CEPT University campus to support a partnership between the Province and the University. In November, FII India entered into an agreement to support the extensive use of B.C. forest products in the project.
Under the agreement, the Province will invest approximately $100,000 to share the costs, with CEPT, of the B.C. wood used in the project and to cover import duties for B.C. products not currently available in India. Industry will donate an additional $11,000 worth of B.C. lumber already in India.
This demonstration project is a direct result of the Province’s accelerated market development efforts in India. In addition to pursuing product trials and other high-profile commercialization projects, the strategy for growing demand for B.C. wood products in India includes collaboratively promoting the Canadian wood brand with Natural Resources Canada and industry through Canada Wood.
Building international markets for B.C.’s natural resources is a component of the BC Jobs Plan. Maintaining and expanding markets, including strengthening key Asian markets, supports the Province’s goal of a diverse, globally competitive forest industry, as outlined in Strong Past, Bright Future: A Competiveness Agenda for B.C.’s Forest Sector.