OTTAWA, ONTARIO--( June 22, 2010) - The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources, today concluded a visit to China to promote Canada's forest sector and the advantages of building with Canadian wood products. The visit was made in connection with the Government of Canada's continued investments in expanding innovative Canadian wood construction technologies and products, both domestically and in offshore markets, such as China.

In Shanghai, Minister Paradis met with Chinese forest product sector stakeholders and visited the Montreal and Vancouver Pavilions at Expo 2010.

"Canadian wood product exports have increased dramatically over the past decade, and we are optimistic that this trend will continue," said Minister Paradis. "The Chinese market holds unparalleled promise for our wood products."

To help develop the market for Canadian wood products, the Government of Canada provided a $10-million Economic Action Plan funding package to support wood demonstration projects.

Of that amount, Natural Resources Canada is investing $5.7 million in support of a suite of demonstration projects in China. These projects include the Vancouver Pavilion and Espace Montréal, a multi-family unit that is part of the Shanghai Affordable Housing Program and a wood-frame townhouse complex. The strategic use of wood in these projects plays a key role in realizing the opportunities and benefits available through wood-frame construction.

Part of Expo 2010, the six-month world exposition that opened on May 1 and is expected to attract 70 million visitors, the Vancouver Pavilion and Espace Montréal will give Canada the opportunity to highlight wood's attributes on the world stage. Widespread media attention, participation from all levels of government, and access to prominent builders and large buyers of construction materials make this exposition China's most important trade and marketing event of the year.

Additionally, Canada has invested $3 million in the Wenchuan Earthquake Reconstruction Project — an initiative that supports the reconstruction of public buildings in Sichuan, which was devastated by the May 2008 earthquake. Key projects include the Xiang'e Primary School in Dijiangyan, which opened last September; the Mianyang Rehabilitation Centre and School for the Disabled, to be completed in summer 2010; the Beichuan Elderly Care Centre, to be completed in 2011; and an in-fill wall project in Chengdu.

The Government of Canada has announced $5.7 million in funding support for the construction of large-scale wood demonstration buildings in China. This investment demonstrates the government's commitment to help Canada's forest industry expand export opportunities in traditional and emerging overseas markets.

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