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MAT-vAnTAge MAT-vAnTAge Canadian wood products will have a significant presence in India in 5 yrs Forestry Innovation Consulting is the market development agency for forest products for the Canadian state of British Columbia in India. Its mandate is to promote B.C. and Canadian forest products by building relationships with importers, wood manufacturers and government agencies. This is done by providing technical and product information on the wide variety of timber products available from Canada. BRIAN LESLIE, TECHNICAL ADVISOR, CANADIAN WOOD FROM BRITISH COLUMBIA, FORESTRY INNOVATION CONSULTING INDIA PVT LTD spoke to SHRIKANT RAO on the sidelines of a conference in Mumbai. Tell us what Forestry Innovation is all about reduced and non-tariff barriers like plant Canadians can do business. What we are - and the mandate of your India wing? health regulations and so on had been trying to do is to promote manufacturing Forestry Innovation Investment was relaxed and Canadian species had in India by supplying raw materials established in 2003. It is 100 per cent been accepted. So it facilitated our entry for manufacturing. Raw lumber, panel funded by the government of the province into the market around 2008-09 and the products, pulp, are products we are of British Columbia as a non-profit decision was then taken. Having had looking to sell and those would be further corporation. It works collaboratively with great success in developing China was processed in India into final products. industry trade associations, other levels a market for over the last 15 years and of government including the Government the other logical market for us was India, Just give us a broad understanding of the of Canada, and research institutions in because it is a market of equal size with products you are now trying to project researching, designing and delivering a growing demand for wood. Hence we and market in India? market development programs. Forestry decided to have a presence through an We are not a sales organisation. Our Innovation Consulting India Pvt Ltd’s office in India. objective is to simply promote our soft wood role is to promote sustainably managed products by getting buyers and sellers forest products in India. We also represent It is a fact that India is looking to build to come together. We have two different the broad Canadian industry apart from its infrastructure and there would representing the state government. We are be opportunities via projects. What funded partly by the Federal Government specifically are you looking to do here? of Canada. Absolutely, if you look at the GDP growth that was taking place at that time, you Tell us of your presence here in India? were nudging up at an 8 per cent GDP Regognising the prevalent need we growth and things were looking healthy. commenced Indian operations in 2012. Sure there was a slowdown that took place Also at that time something happened just prior to the election of Narendra Modi to facilitate our entry into the market and so on, but we do believe in the long place. The whole structure of tariffs term. India is on a growth curve that is and non-tariff restrictions in the market going to continue into 2020-2030s. So place were changing. Tariffs were being we believe that this is a place where NOVEMBER 2014|construction opportunities 53
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