VICTORIA – BC is setting up a Forestry Innovation Investment Office (FII) in Vietnam to boost business opportunities and jobs in the forestry sector.
Officials say the office could provide a buffer against market volatility and other global challenges.
The office is one of the first steps in the development of British Columbia’s trade diversification strategy, which is part of the StrongerBC economic plan. Officials say the strategy will allow businesses to connect with more international partners, create more jobs in BC and help protect BC’s trade network from supply chain disruptions. supply, market instability and specific geographic trends and changes.
“The pandemic and global unrest have shown us the impact these events can have on our economy and our trading relationships with our global partners,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, in a press release. “By moving away from overreliance on a single market, we can increase revenues for BC businesses and sustainable jobs, and protect British Columbians from global disruption.
The office is the FII’s third international office and the first in Vietnam. It will be in Binh Duong province. He will focus on championing British Columbia as the preferred supplier of sustainable, certified softwood lumber products to Vietnam, which is the world‘s second largest exporter of wooden furniture.
From 2017 to 2021, softwood lumber exports from British Columbia to Vietnam increased by 59%.
“Developing a trade diversification strategy will provide more opportunities for BC businesses to grow as we build on our strong economic recovery,” said George Chow, Minister of State for Trade. “The opening of our office in Vietnam is a crucial step for the growth of our forest sector and will provide BC with the opportunity to showcase our environmental, social and good governance values, which are among our main competitive advantages.
The office planning process began in 2017, with initial stages focused on product testing and outreach efforts. Recently, Vietnam has placed more emphasis on using certified sustainable sources – a requirement of more and more countries and large companies.