Wednesday, July 21, 2010

‘Everything in Our Industry is Driven By China’

(Evan Duggan — Embassy)

The economic recession means Canadian sectors are increasingly turning to the Middle Kingdom.

Paul Stothart is excited.

Last year, iron ore and coal alone accounted for nearly $1.6 billion in Canadian exports to China. This represented $1 billion more than in 2008, continuing a trend that has become a major boon for Canada’s mining sector.

“Everything in our industry is driven by China,” said Mr. Stothart, vice-president of economic affairs at the Mining Association of Canada, explaining that world mineral prices for copper, nickel, zinc and uranium are largely set by—increasing—Chinese demand for raw minerals.

The Middle Kingdom looms just as large for Andrew Casey, vice-president of foreign affairs and international trade at the Forestry Producers Association of Canada.

“It’s been a brutal couple of years,” he said, adding that the ongoing downturn in the US housing industry has had a dramatic impact on Canada’s forestry industry. He predicts that long-term economic sustainability for the sector will ultimately arrive only from diversification. A comprehensive approach to selling Canadian forest products, he said, includes Asia.

“Success in Asia is almost critical for the industry’s future, and that’s why we’re very encouraged by what we’re seeing,” said Mr. Casey. Read more here.