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NEWS RELEASE · 15th May 2010
Office of the Premier
Canadian expertise in wood construction will be on display for the world to see with the opening today of the Vancouver Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010.

The Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board of Canada and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, along with British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell and other Canadian officials, attended the on-site ribbon cutting ceremony today.

The Government of Canada has invested $2.5 million in the construction of the Vancouver Pavilion, one of six offshore demonstration projects that promote the use of Canadian wood in construction. This initiative is funded through the $170-million Economic Action Plan investment in market development and innovation

"The Vancouver Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai provides an excellent opportunity to showcase Canadian wood products and wood construction techniques to an international audience," said Minister Day. "The Government of Canada's investment of $2.5 million allows the pavilion to display the quality and benefits of wood-frame construction, which is important for strengthening Canada's position in this important market."

"The Vancouver Pavilion showcases the development of the City of Vancouver following Expo 86 and the value of B.C. wood as a construction material," said Premier Gordon Campbell. "The project is an important partnership with municipal, provincial and federal levels of government and will help promote British Columbia's forest industry and world class wood manufacturing sector to thousands of potential buyers."

"With over 70 million people expected to visit the Shanghai Expo, we are showcasing Vancouver as a leader in the green economy - from clean technology to green building," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "Visitors from around the world will see that in Vancouver, going green is good for quality of life, the environment and for business."

The Vancouver Pavilion is a collaboration of the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver. Vancouver is one of only four North American cities selected for the exposition's Urban Best Practices Area, which provides a platform for participating cities to exchange experiences in urban construction and development.

The three-storey pavilion building is 900 square metres in size. The first level features the development history of the northern False Creek area, focusing on the transformation prompted by Expo 86 to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The second level features displays that promote wood as a natural, sustainable building material and wood-frame technology as energy efficient, earthquake resistant and cost competitive. Third-floor meeting rooms will be used to host Chinese developers, engineers, architects and government officials as part of the program to market Canadian wood products and advanced wood technology in China. The site also includes 300 square metres of landscaping that showcases Canadian wood products.

The six-month world exposition opened May 1 and closes October 31. An estimated 70 million visitors, including several million international visitors, will attend Shanghai Expo 2010. Widespread media attention, participation from all levels of government and access to prominent builders and large buyers of construction materials make Shanghai Expo 2010 the most important trade marketing event of the year in China.

China has rapidly emerged as one of Canada's most important lumber export markets. Canada's wood product exports to China are up eleven-fold from $32 million in 2001 to $385 million in 2009. Canada exported a record of 2.6 million cubic metres of lumber products to China in 2009, more than double the 1.2 million cubic metres that was shipped the previous year.

Canada is a global leader in sustainable forest management and in the export of softwood lumber, pulp and paper and bioenergy products.