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B.C. establishes forestry office in Vietnam

B.C. establishes forestry office in Vietnam
PROVINCE OF B.C. - B.C. announced it is establishing a Forestry Innovation Investment office in Vietnam.

VICTORIA – B.C. is setting up a Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) office in Vietnam to boost trade opportunities and jobs in the forestry sector.

Officials say the office could offer a buffer from market volatility and other global challenges.

The office is one of the initial steps in developing B.C.’s Trade Diversification Strategy, part of the StrongerBC Economic Plan. Officials say the strategy will allow businesses to connect with more international partners, create more jobs in B.C. and help to protect B.C.’s trade network from supply-chain disruption, market instability and geographically specific trends and changes.

“The pandemic and global unrest have shown us the impact these events can have on our economy and trade relationships with global partners,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation, in a statement. “By moving away from over-reliance on a single market, we can grow revenue for sustainable B.C. businesses and jobs and protect British Columbians from global disruptions.”

The office is the third international FII office and the first in Vietnam. It will be in the province of Binh Duong. It will focus on advocating for B.C. as the preferred supplier of sustainable and certified softwood lumber products to Vietnam, which is the world’s second-largest exporter of wooden furniture.

From 2017 to 2021, B.C. softwood lumber exports to Vietnam increased by 59 per cent.

“Developing a Trade Diversification Strategy will provide more opportunities for B.C. businesses to expand as we build on our strong economic recovery,” said George Chow, minister of state for trade. “The opening of our Vietnam office is a crucial step for the growth of our forestry sector and will provide B.C. with an opportunity to highlight our environmental, social, and good governance values, which are among our key competitive advantages.”

The planning process for the office began back in 2017, with initial steps focused on product trials and outreach efforts. Recently, Vietnam has increased its emphasis on using certified sustainable sources – a requirement of increasingly more countries and large companies.

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