Canadian International Council

Canadian International Council

July 31, 2008 11:14 ET

China Is the Path to Canada's Forestry Future

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 31, 2008) - Canada's forestry sector is so focused on the United States that it is blind to the immense potential China offers. Consequently, Canadians are missing out on jobs, profits and the chance to assist in protecting the environment, says Jason Wang in a paper released today by the Canadian International Council (CIC).

"We are so harnessed to the U.S. housing market that our forestry industry is still totally dependent on the American economy and its fluctuations, to the point we haven't been able to fully grasp the opportunities available in China," says Wang, one of the CIC's inaugural fellowship recipients. "China has a ravenous appetite for imported wood that knows no bounds, but our wood associations and governments haven't yet taken the time to determine China's exploding market needs. We're still trying to sell China wood products that meet our needs, instead of theirs."

The author argues that Canadians will have to place a greater emphasis on understanding how wood is used in construction in China, fully comprehend the needs are different than in the U.S., and then design these types of products.

"We have to become more innovative," says Wang. "If we don't, we'll be left behind. It's that simple."

Wang is a PhD candidate, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia and one of eight fellows chosen earlier this year by the CIC to contribute new perspectives leading to further discussion and debate in vital areas of Canadian foreign policy. The program's initial areas of focus for 2008-09 include the following: China, Border Issues, Arctic Sovereignty and Security and Energy.

For more information on the CIC or the selected fellows please visit: www.canadianinternationalcouncil.org

The Canadian International Council (CIC) is a non-partisan, nationwide council established to strengthen Canada's role in international affairs. With 13 branches nationwide, part of the CIIA national branch network, CIC seeks to advance research, discussion and debate on international issues by supporting a Canadian foreign policy network that crosses academic disciplines, policy areas, and economic sectors. The CIC will feature a privately funded fellowship program, supported by a network of issue-specific working groups. Carefully selected CIC fellows will focus on important foreign policy issues, working out of universities and research institutions across the country. The CIC was founded in 2007 by Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM (Research In Motion).

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