While federal government representatives are heading to Egypt for this week's COP27 conference, B.C. government officials will be in Japan, along with industry delegates, to promote B.C. forestry and wood products.
Next week, B.C. Forestry Minister Katrine Conroy will lead a delegation to Japan for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
"Japan is a critically important export market for B.C.'s high-quality wood products, and we are excited to engage directly and strengthen relationships with our key customers and trading partners," Conroy said in a news release.
Conroy and forest industry representatives will be in Japan November 6 for a five-day trade mission.
Their visit will include a tour of the Tokyo University of the Arts nail-laminated timber demonstration project – the first type of an engineered wood product for flooring to be commercially adopted in Japan. They will also meet with the Japan 2x4 Home Builders Association.
Dimensional lumber is still the backbone of B.C.'s forestry sector, though the provincial government has been trying to promote higher value industries, like engineered wood products and tall wood building construction.
"These missions are critical to growing B.C.'s reputation as the supplier of choice in providing customers around the world with the renewable, low-carbon forest products people want and need,” said Linda Coady, president of the Council of Forest Industries (COFI).
Lennard Joe, CEO of the First Nations Forestry Council (FNFC), will give B.C. First Nations perspectives on B.C.'s forestry sector during the trade mission.
"The First Nations Forestry Council and B.C. are working together on a number of projects in forestry that recognize First Nations rights and are promoting reconciliation,” he said. “FNFC, along with First Nations leadership, is honoured to be part of this mission and to offer our Japanese colleagues a true perspective on the forestry partnership between the province and First Nations.”
Exports from B.C. to Japan were valued at $4.8 billion in 2021, according to BC Stats. Forestry products represented about one third of that -- $1.6 billion. Last year B.C. exported $980 million worth of lumber to Japan, $181 million worth of logs, and $172 million worth of pulp.