Canada Economic Development

Canada Economic Development

October 19, 2010 14:00 ET

Government of Canada Explores Wood Markets in Europe

Minister Lebel concludes productive visit to France and Italy

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Oct. 19, 2010) - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for Canada Economic Development, yesterday concluded a ten-day visit to France and Italy during which he explored development opportunities for Quebec companies in the French and Italian wood markets, underscored the innovativeness of Quebec companies and met with industry stakeholders and members of the French and Italian governments.

"My visit allowed me to support Quebec and Canadian firms in their business development and investment efforts. I also had the opportunity to discuss various regional economic development approaches and see European forestry expertise first hand," explained the Minister.

Minister Lebel also used this visit to stress the importance of trade relations with France and Italy.

"Canada's economic relationships with France and Italy are significant and diversified. We need to build on that, because we have much in common. The forestry crisis is not exclusive to Quebec," said the Minister.

"In France and Italy, or anywhere else with an important lumber industry, there is a pressing need to take swift action and adjust to the new global economic realities. And we can achieve this through interaction and cooperation," he explained.

In France, Minister Lebel's visit included a tour of the Centre de Ressources des Industries du Bois (CRITT Bois) of the École Nationale Supérieure des Technologies et Industrie du Bois (ENSTIB) in Épinal, in the Lorraine region. He also visited the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB), the French building scientific and technical centre which has approved the expertise of several Quebec small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that manufacture prefabricated frame housing. This certification could throw France's building market's doors wide open to them.

In Italy, Minister Lebel travelled to the Autonomous Province of Trento where he visited the Manifattura Domani Green Technolology Park, a competitive cluster and research hub for green building. He also participated in the inauguration of an anti-seismic building in L'Aquila. This project, which used prefabricated wood elements, was meant to showcase Quebec expertise to the Italian market.

Building on the Government of Canada's support for the forest sector and communities that have been affected by the downturn in the economy, the Minister's European tour was aimed, among other things, at exploring development opportunities for Quebec businesses in the French and Italian wood markets.

Contact Information

  • Source - Media in Canada
    Canada Economic Development
    Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
    Simon Bachand,Special Assistant