Last fall, the Coast Forest Products Association joined Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, on B.C.’s largest-ever forestry trade mission to Asia. Along with more than 30 delegates from across British Columbia’s forest industry, Coast Forest met with key government and industry players in China and Japan, working to expand markets, enhance relationships, and raise the value of B.C. wood products.

Discussions between delegates, industry representatives and government officials allowed B.C.’s forest industry to continue to explore opportunities, strengthen industry bonds, and diversify markets throughout Asia, says a blog post from Coast Forest. Delegates had the opportunity to visit showrooms, manufacturing sites and construction sites to learn about current wood products and practices in overseas forest products sectors. In China, a focus on prefabricated construction and green building took precedence, while Japan’s markets emphasized the development of engineered wood construction, particularly in multi-family and non-residential buildings.

“As a key industry in our province, the need for strong relationships and robust understanding between Canadian and overseas markets is clear. A sustainable forest industry is indispensable to Canadian and Asian markets, both from an environmental and economic standpoint,” reads the blog.

According to Coast Forest, Chinese and Japanese markets are the second- and third-largest overseas markets for B.C. forest products in terms of trade and exports.