The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) says the federal government should continue to fortify forestry trade and investment ties with China.
The recommendation follows a study released earlier this month by Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and China’s Minister of Commerce Chen Deming. The conclusion of the study, titled the Canada-China Economic Complementarities Study, says relations in the forestry sector should be strengthened between the two countries.
“Growing our exports to overseas markets, especially China, is vital to our vision and the future prospects of Canada’s forest products sector,” says Catherine Cobden, the president and CEO of FPAC. “We agree with this study which highlights the benefit of deeper Canada-China trade and investment ties.”
Developing deeper relations with China fits into FPAC’s Vision 2020 strategy – a plan the group introduced earlier this year that outlines a strategy to stimulate and foster innovation in the Canadian forestry sector.
One of the major goals for that strategy is to generate an additional $20 billion in economic activity from new innovations and growing markets.
According to Pulp & Paper Canada, forest products are already Canada’s number one export sector to China.
“Since 2001, the industry has increased its wood exports to China by 45 times,” the publication reported. “Total Canadian forest products exports to China exceeded $4 billion in 2011.”
The study offered suggestions for increasing those exports.
“In Canada, China’s growing interest in natural resources is adding to the diversity of investment sources available to develop capital-intensive Canadian natural resources projects,” the study concluded. “To take advantage of complementarities in this sector, further improvements could be made to the clarity, efficiency and predictability of inward investment-related regulations, the compatibility of certification systems and the expediency of approval processes on goods such as equipment.”
Pulp & Paper Canada: “Forest Industry Presses To Deepen Economic Ties With China”
Canadian Newswire: “Vision 2020 – Charting A Bold And Innovative Future For Canada’s Forest Products Industry”