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Natural Resources Canada
November 9, 2011

Minister Oliver Promotes Canadian Expertise in
Wood-Frame Construction in China

SHANGHAI —The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today toured the Jinqiao Wood Townhouse Demonstration Project in Shanghai. Minister Oliver took this opportunity to highlight the many benefits of Canadian wood-frame construction expertise for China.

“Canada has been privileged to support the development of wood-frame construction in China over the past decade,” said Minister Oliver.“This method of construction offers many advantages. Wood is not only cost-effective, renewable and energy-efficient but also effective at withstanding seismic activity. Canadians are world experts in building with wood, and we are eager to share our knowledge.”

China is now Canada's second-largest trading partner and represents the fastest growing export market for Canadian wood products. Exports of these products to China have grown dramatically, increasing from $32 million in 2001 to more than $834 million in 2010, representing a 26-fold increase. Exports to date in 2011 have already exceeded last year’s totals.

Canada’s lumber shipments to China have done extremely well, with exports increasing more than 500 percent since 2007, and year-to-date shipments are about 126 percent ahead of last year’s number. This increase in exports to China is equivalent to the output of 14 sawmills and represents thousands of jobs in Canada. With 20 times more exports to China than 10 years ago, China is by far the most promising emerging market for Canada’s forest sector. 

“The Government of Canada is continuing to invest in areas that will further the transformation of our forest sector,” added Minister Oliver. “By collaborating with China to demonstrate the advantages of using innovative wood products and expertise from Canada, we are helping to expand market opportunities for our nation’s forest sector and to build a more prosperous future for the many communities that depend on it.”

The Jinqiao Wood Townhouse Demonstration Project consists of 133 “green” three-storey townhouses constructed in Shanghai as part of the larger Jinqiao Townhouse Development Project. The demonstration project is one of several in China funded by the Government of Canada to showcase the low-carbon, environmentally friendly and energy-efficient properties of wood-frame construction, and to assist China in meeting its national goals of reducing carbon emissions in new housing projects. 

The Government of Canada contributed funding to this project under the Large-Scale Wood Demonstration Initiative as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The Canada Wood Export Program through Canada Wood Group China, a consortium of Canadian wood product associations, in conjunction with British Columbia’s Forestry Innovation Investment China, is providing technical support and training in wood-frame construction. These organizations will work together to ensure the wood-frame structures meet local needs.

Established in 2002, the Canada Wood Export Program funds activities that help Canadian wood producers diversify and expand export opportunities for their products in traditional and emerging overseas markets, including Europe, Japan, China and South Korea.


Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is promoting Canadian wood-frame construction expertise in China during a tour of the Jinqiao Wood Townhouse Demonstration Project in Shanghai. Canada’s lumber exports to China have increased more than 500 percent since 2007, equivalent to the output of 14 sawmills and representing thousands of jobs for Canadians.

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Patricia Best
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada


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