By Cam McAlpine
The provincial budget unveiled today brings some good news for the forest industry and forest-based communities throughout BC. The province has committed to work with the industry to develop a Forest Sector Competitiveness Strategy, Finance Minister Mike de Jong announced in his Budget 2015 speech.
The BC industry has faced challenges maintaining its competitive advantage as a result of a combination of circumstances, so this commitment is welcome news. COFI and our member companies look forward to working with government to re-establish the province as the best place to do forestry business in the world.
An additional piece of good news comes from the “renminbi hub” also announced today. This financial centre, sanctioned by China to clear and settle transactions in the Chinese currency, will help BC continue its exponential growth in export diversification. The BC forest industry has seen its exports to China increase from just 120 million board feet in 2005 to 3.35 billion in 2013.