Timber business representatives continue with plans for trade mission to China after British Columbia government decides to cancel following arrest of Chinese business executive in Vancouver. (Lakes District News file photo)

Timber business representatives continue with plans for trade mission to China after British Columbia government decides to cancel following arrest of Chinese business executive in Vancouver. (Lakes District News file photo)

Timber trade mission to China to proceed after government backs out

A timber industry delegation will continue with its trip to China after the British Columbia government decided to return home from the mission following an incident involving a senior Chinese business executive in Vancouver.

READ MORE: B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Steve Zika, CEO of Hampton Lumber told Lakes District News that the business delegation, which includes a large number of representatives from the province’s timber industry, will proceed with its plans to visit China.

Hampton Lumber, owner of the local Lake Babine and Decker Lake Forest Products mills is a member of the BC Council of Forest Industries that is also joining the mission.

Zika was speaking from Japan where the delegation had been until Dec. 11.

The business trip is scheduled to last from Dec. 5-15 and includes stops in South Korea, Japan and China.

“The Chinese lumber business is very important to many forestry companies in British Columbia and both partners have worked hard over the years to develop an excellent relationship,” Zika explained. “Any restrictions on the flow of lumber from British Columbia to China would cause inconveniences for our customers and could create a temporary imbalance between supply and demand.”

The CEO added that he was optimistic trade ties with China would not be affected by diplomatic tensions resulting from the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in the Vancouver airport on Dec. 1.

Meng was arrested at the request of United States officials on suspicion of violating sanctions against Iran.

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