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China to promote BC lumber

British Columbia and a Chinese jurisdiction have signed a memorandum of understanding to use more of the province's lumber for wood-frame construction.

Cement construction is much more common in China, but officials in Zhejiang province have agreed to promote the use of wood in the construction of tourism facilities, resorts and multi-family residential housing.

The memorandum calls for the two governments to promote use of wood-frame construction, develop timber construction codes and standards in China and organize exchange-of-knowledge visits between the provinces.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson says the agreement is an important step in BC's growing relationship with China.

He says the deal will also encourage the Chinese province to set aside land for low-density housing.

The minister says the value of wood exports to China this year is up 6.6 per cent, and in 2013, BC exported a record $1.4 billion worth of lumber to the country.

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