Another year has passed and another great GBM is upon us. I am happy to report that we have an excellent 24 member delegation coming from Japan, many of whom are first time participants. The Japanese buyers are looking for everything from flooring and millwork to WRC products, engineered wood products, packaged homes, and lumber. Some of the companies are new to Canadian wood products while others are looking to expand on items they are already importing from BC. We also have a reporter from Nikkan Mokuzai which is the largest wood products industry newspaper. Make sure to find him if you have some new and innovative products that you would like promoted in Japan.
We are also honoured to have the construction company that has been selected to build one of the Canada-Tohoku Reconstruction Projects. This project consists of the reconstruction of the largest and most famous public market in northern Japan. This market project has received extensive media coverage as it will lead the economic rebirth of this area and the return of communities destroyed in the tsunami. The builder selected for this very important assignment is the largest Canadian imported house builder in Japan and is coming to look at products for both the market project as well as their main home building business. Please feel free to ask me if you would like set a meeting with this company or any of the other eager buyers in our delegation.
If you follow the Japanese construction industry, you already know that the housing market is very strong right now with both pent up demand as well as the reconstruction efforts in Tohoku. Labour shortages in various construction trades have been reported across the country which is pushing up wages. Some market analysts are even predicting that starts will top 900,000 for 2012 which would be the first time in 2008. Despite these significant time and work pressures our Japanese delegates are still making the long trip over to BC showing how much they value the opportunity given to them by the GBM. I look forward to seeing you all in Whistler!