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Forest industry welcomes government's trade strategy

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OTTAWA, Nov. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) appreciates the government's announcement about a Global Markets plan aimed at creating opportunities through trade. This is a welcome complement to current industry efforts to bolster international exports.

The $57 Billion a year Canadian forest products industry is one of the country's leading export sectors with almost 50% of its revenues coming from products sold abroad. Canada is one of the most successful global exporters of forest products with more than 180 markets around the world.

"From its very beginnings, the Canadian forest products sector has heavily relied on export markets," says the President and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay. "The government is an important partner in facilitating that trade through initiatives such as the Expanding Markets Program and we welcome this focus on expanding trade opportunities."

Forest products are Canada's number one export to China. This success was created over the span of a decade with support from the federal and provincial governments. New free trade arrangements such as the Comprehensive European Free Trade (CETA) deal and the negotiations to reach a Trans-Pacific Partnership are also important initiatives that support increased trade.

"The government's continued efforts in the area of trade promotion is helping the forest industry grow and diversify markets," says Lindsay. He points to Vision2020, FPAC's ambitious plan which includes the goal of generating an additional $20 billion in economic activity in new products and markets by the end of the decade.

The forest products industry is undergoing transformation and welcomes on-going government support for a wide range of issues: a broad network of trade offices which benefits the industry globally; a reliable and affordable rail system to get goods to market; sufficient infrastructure to support exports to new markets; and promotion of the "Canadian Brand" around the world.

The government is also an important partner in supporting the creation of new innovative products through programs such as the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program and through FPInnovations.

FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $57-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.

SOURCE FOREST PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA



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