Mr. Zhongzhi Yang

Mr. Zhongzhi Yang

Chinese group considers Kootenay opportunities

A Chinese company visited Cranbrook last month to tour lumber facilities and look at export opportunities in the region

The first potential rewards for sending a delegation of the region’s representatives to Korea and China may be on the horizon as a Chinese delegation visited Cranbrook last month to tour lumber facilities.

Mayor Wayne Stetski and city staff arranged for the delegation from Taicang, China to meet with representatives from Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Galloway Lumber and Canfor September 24 and 25.

The Jiangsu Wuyang Group was primarily interested in looking at opportunities to export wood products to Taicang from the region.

Jiangsu Wuyang Group is a large diversified Chinese company that has been dealing with domestic and foreign trade, import and export, real estate development, finance and investment and industrial manufacturing.

Kevin Weaver, the city’s business and economic development manager, was enthusiastic about the opportunity.

“Jiangsu Wuyang Group is a fascinating and progressive company,” Weaver said.

“Although their visit to Cranbrook was short, I look forward to working with Chairman Yang’s team as we explore the opportunities further.”

The group toured the Galloway Lumber mill, Canfor’s Elko mill and the Tembec finger-jointing plant in Cranbrook.

The Chinese delegation was especially concerned with how the wood products from the East Kootenay would make their way to the west coast shipping yards. City staff is currently working with Vancouver-based advisors from Jiangsu Wuyang Group to find out more information.

Weaver, along with Mayor Wayne Stetski, were part of a regional delegation that toured Taicang and Wonju, Korea in June.

Stetski noted that the group was not the political representatives they had met, but was spurred on by the relationship that Cranbrook is building with the Chinese city.

“Jiangsu Wuyang Group’s visit is a direct result of the city-to-city friendly relationship Cranbrook established in February 2012 with the port city of Taicang, China,” Stetski said.

“More work will be needed to see if this new potential opportunity can become a reality for our local wood suppliers but this is a positive first step.”