New forestry product trade office opens in Vietnam

New investment and trade office to focus on increased exports of B.C. wood products

B.C. and Vietnam strengthening trade ties with new forestry focused investment and trade office. | Getty Images

A new investment and trade office focused on forestry products has opened in Vietnam.

The new Forestry Innovation and Investment trade office in Vietnam will be the third office to open in Asia. There are already offices in China and India.

“Many may not know this, but Vietnam is currently the second largest exporter of wood furniture in the entire world, and by building on our trade relationships with Vietnam, we can further promote the benefits of using B.C. wood,” said Ravi Kahlon, B.C. minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.

Vietnam and Canada are members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which has increased opportunities for trade between the two countries.

“Events over the last two years have shown all of us how important it is to diversify B.C.’s trade network,” said George Chow, B.C.’s George Chow, minister of State for Trade. “Diversifying our trade network and building B.C.’s presence around the world is a key pillar of our stronger B.C. economic plan.”

Asia accounts for about 30% of the B.C. forestry sectors exports, said Alexa Young, vice-president, government and public affairs, BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI).

According to some product trials already done in Vietnam, there appears to be a demand for B.C. Western Hemlock in Vietnam. It’s not clear whether B.C. will be providing Vietnamese furniture makers with whole raw hemlock logs, or wood components.

“The work starts now in terms of identifying what the opportunity is in linking that to the specific species, including hemlock,” Young said.