B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson exchanges gifts with Chul-Hee Kang, president of the Korea Institute of Architects, during trade mission to Asia. (B.C. government)

B.C. lumber industry trade mission still has high hopes for China

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson cut short trip after Japan, Korea stops

Most forest industry representatives on B.C.’s annual trade mission to Asia are carrying on to China this week, but Forests Minister Doug Donaldson and government officials aren’t joining them.

Donaldson said Monday he decided not to join forest company executives on the final leg of the journey due to diplomatic tensions between Canada and China over the arrest of a Chinese high-tech executive in Vancouver.

“Under the current circumstances, a government minister joining business people would add a different dynamic,” Donaldson told reporters in a conference call from Japan.

Susan Yurkovich, CEO of the Council of Forest Industries, said B.C. companies have long-standing relationships with Chinese, Korean and Japanese companies and the ones on this year’s trip are carrying on their their meetings.

The Chinese government summoned Canada’s ambassador to warn of consequences this weekend after Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei was arrested at the request of U.S. authorities.

more to come…

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