With leading market share in the United States, China, Japan, and South Korea, British Columbia, Canada is one of the world’s largest exporters of wood products including wood, pulp, timber, lumber and other forest products. Our forest industry has attractive investment opportunities in mills, forestry operations, the manufacturing of high-quality forest products and value-added wood products, and biofuels.
British Columbia is a world leader in wood products, biofuels, and advanced wood products and technologies, including the design and construction of energy-efficient, earthquake-resistant residential, commercial and mixed use buildings.
British Columbia is one of North America’s most competitive and dynamic places to do business and our forest sector offers outstanding investment opportunities.
- High environmental standards – We have more forest land certified environmentally sustainable than any comparable jurisdiction in the world. This offers a major competitive advantage in markets where consumers expect certified (“green”) forest products, including Europe, the United States, Japan, and China.
- Global access – We are strategically located on Canada’s Pacific coast, with easy access to key markets in Asia, Europe, and North America. Our forest industry is fully integrated with extensive port, rail, and road transportation systems.
- Cross-border trade – The North American Free Trade Agreement provides firms locating in British Columbia with duty-free access to markets in the United States and Mexico. There is a separate agreement for softwood lumber with the United States.
- Positive business climate – We create a competitive business environment with our focus on low taxes, streamlined regulations, and industry incentives.
- Research and development – Our research, technology, and innovation endeavours have the ability to unlock the potential of forest products previously considered unusable.
- Low energy costs – We offer clean, reliable hydroelectricity at some of the lowest rates in North America, lowering the cost of forestry operations.
- Innovation in new products – Our Centres of Excellence conduct research and develop advanced technologies to expand the range of wood products and the efficient use of wood. These include engineered wood products, new building systems, biochemicals, and bioenergy alternatives. Our bioenergy industry is turning forest residues into clean power.
- Industry support – Efficient sawmills, skilled workforce and a well-developed research network support the forest industry’s current and future needs.
British Columbia’s forest industry welcomes interest from investors. Investment options include partnering, buying existing operations, and starting new operations.
Forest Industry Snapshot
Almost 60 per cent of British Columbia’s land base is productive forest land, providing rich, diverse, and abundant wood fibre.
- Timber supplies – British Columbia has 55 million hectares of productive forests that provide diverse and abundant wood fibre. These forests contain roughly 11 billion cubic metres of timber.
- Varied tree species – Tree species in our forests are primarily coniferous or softwood, including Douglas-fir, western hemlock, amabilis fir, western red cedar, lodgepole pine and interior spruce.
- Beneficial land tenure system – Most of our land is publicly owned. The provincial government issues land tenures, giving companies the right to harvest in exchange for fees and management responsibilities. With no need to purchase land, capital required to invest is low compared to other regions.
- Preferred supplier – British Columbia has more lands certified to internationally recognized sustainability standards than any other jurisdiction. This ensures sustainable production, and gives access to markets around the world looking for environmentally sound products.
- Varied wood products – Commodity products, including standard dimensional lumber, pulp, paper, and panel boards, dominate the forest industry in British Columbia.
- Growing value-added sector – Small and medium-sized firms produce a wide range of value-added products, such as treated lumber, engineered wood products, shakes and shingles, posts, poles, log and timber-frame homes, mouldings, and other finished or semi-finished products.
- New utilization opportunities – Under-utilized species, smaller stems, dead trees, mill residue, and debris from silviculture and harvesting now have new value as raw materials for next-generation forest products.
British Columbia produces a full range of forest products, which can be grouped into three broad categories: commodities, traditional value-added, and next-generation manufacturing. All three areas offer opportunities for investment.
Pulp and Paper
Shakes and shingles
Cabinets and furniture
Dissolving pulps (leads directly to biochemicals and materials like rayon)
Laminated veneer lumber (LML)
|Pallets & boxes
Posts & poles
Windows & doors
|Next Generation Manufacturing
||Alternative energy products - wood pellets, ethanol, biodiesel, xylose, syngas
Engineered wood products - cross-laminated timbers, high strength and stiffness composite lumber products, high strength and stiffness hybrid engineered wood products, new fibre-polymer composite wood products
New building systems
Learn about British Columbia’s range of attractive business incentives.
Forestry Sector Supports
British Columbia offers support programs for the forestry sector, including the following:
- The BC Bioenergy Network is led by industry and supports near-term bioenergy technologies and research to build a world-class bioenergy capability in British Columbia. Funding programs can be accessed through the Network. Explore how the BC Bioenergy Network can support your investment.
- The Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program promotes new technologies that lead to non-traditional, high-value forest products and renewable energies. Find out about the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program.
- The Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) is our market development agency for forest products. FII works with industry trade associations in promoting B.C. forest products domestically and internationally, but does not provide loans, subsidies or other financial incentives to individual businesses.