INTERNATIONAL Trade Minister Ed Fast, Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario Greg Rickford and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz on Wednesday welcomed the opening of India’s market to Canadian ash wood and timber products.
Access to the growing Indian market will greatly benefit Canadian ash lumber and wood producers. Indian manufacturers use ash for in-demand products such as flooring, cabinetry, doors and furniture.
Canadian scientists played a critical role in addressing market access issues, informing the Indian government of Canadian protocols that allow for safe and responsible movement of Canada’s high-quality, sustainably produced wood products.
Continued collaboration between India and Canada is also helping to expand market access for other Canadian wood products and helping to create jobs and new opportunities for the Canadian wood products industry. India’s announcement builds on Canada’s success in opening the Indian market to Canadian eastern spruce products in July 2013.
The forest industry is a significant component of the Canadian economy and contributed almost $20.9 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2013 and $19.2 billion to Canada’s balance of trade. The sector employed some 216,000 Canadians.
Canadian exports of wood and wood articles to India were valued at $11.6 million in 2013, with lumber and related products contributing $11.3 million of that. Since 2009, the value of wood-product exports to India has risen more than fivefold.
The value of Canada and India’s total bilateral merchandise trade was $5.8 billion in 2013, an all-time high and up almost 40 percent from five years earlier.
India is a priority market for Canada under the Global Markets Action Plan.
“I am pleased that we were successful in opening a new market for world-class Canadian lumber, helping Canadian exporters tap into the large and growing Indian market. The potential market for Canadian lumber in India is significant, and this is very good news for Canada’s forestry workers and their families,” said Fast.
“Canadian companies manufacturing lumber and wood products from ash species can now export to India, where demand for housing and wood products is expected to grow in the years ahead. Our government understands the need to enhance market access for our forest product exports. This is a welcome milestone that builds on our earlier success in expanding export markets for Canadian wood,” said Rickford.
“This announcement demonstrates the continued integrity of our plant protection policies and export requirements. More trade opportunities in our forestry sector mean more Canadians at work,” added Ritz.