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MAT-vAnTAge MAT-vAnTAge have in India which you can harvest in surprised or shocked to see that that things for windows and door and furniture 8 or 9 years. Our trees take 100 years to are not as imagined. The reality is not that Canadian wood can offer attractive grow. When you have got trees that are wood grown in Canada won’t survive in alternatives. It would be cheaper than old, they are easier to work with, as they India. It is how you use the wood, how you other alternative available. I can tell you are more stable. So furniture makers, treat it, how you protect it, that’s the reality of an emergency where Canadian wood and those manufacturing doors, love it. of wood from anywhere. did play a role. When there were floods in Because the trees are grown slowly, they the Himalayan region some time ago the have certain characteristics that make Would cost be a factor in marketing need for temporary housing all of a sudden them somewhat unique; you will find that your products herein India? How does skyrocketed. Some of the devastated same kind of quality in northern Europe Canadian wood compare with wood homes were replaced with prefabricated for the same reason because their forest from say Myanmar? wood houses made of Canadian wood. also grows slow. So I think the fact that Of course, if you want to compare Our wood can easily be shipped, it doesn’t sustainability matters, slow grown forests Canadian wood to teak, we are far far weigh a lot, and provides for very quick and a wide variety of species that can be cheaper, so obviously price is important. serviceable accommodation. used for different applications makes Wood from Myanmar, if you are talking of Canadian wood a product people around teak, is the highest priced teak in the world Have issues like sustainability and green the world will increasingly see. so anything compared to that is cheap. building in India impacted in terms of Any soft wood compared to that is cheap, movement towards products such as What are the trends you see in India in costing just a fraction like 20 per cent of yours? terms of usage of wood products? the price. But there is lot of teak coming There is certainly movement. I think the As far as trends are concerned people from other countries like Tanzania, Costa green building movement is an example still like to use a lot of wood. They like to Rica and Brazil and the quality varies: that things are happening, but it is still have a solid wooden door as an entrance some of it is good; some, terrible. very new in India. Quite frankly, I don’t door, for example. There is slowly a think sustainability is a big concern at this trend towards standardisation of door Tell us about the institutions and people point of time in India. I think price is far sizes but it is still in its infancy – most you are engaging with to push your more important than sustainability. Will doors are custom made in India – but products and what is the strategy ? that change? hopefully standardisation will take hold. The Indian Institute of Architects, the I think so, for example if you are a furniture The other trends we see are designs and National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, manufacturer and exporting furniture colour changes taking place in furniture. the Forest Research Institute in Dehra Dun, to the EEC or North America or Japan, Basically Indians still like to use wood Institute of Wood Science and Technology sustainability will be a huge issue. With inside homes for appearance or functional in Benangalore are some of the important the growth in the manufacturing sector purposes than a home in Japan which institutions we have tied up with. and increased sophistication, the exports is also wood culture. India has a wood figure will only escalate, sustainablity culture but they don’t build many places India has got a huge housing problem – thus will assume greater importance. with wood anymore like they do in Kerala there is a big deficit there – necessitating or Tamil Nadu – they are amazing. affordable houses. So what can Canada What is the outlook for the wood sector do for us? in say the next five years? What is the feedback you have received That may not be directly related to the I expect in five years Canadian wood post usage of your products? mandate we carry forward to the market products to have a significant presence We have not had any negative feedback. place. Directly getting into affordable in the Indian market. They will achieve We have had concerns expressed like housing is not really what we are all about this by displacing hardwoods, more the sustainability of products in Indian but we can certainly provide materials that specifically tropical hardwood from climate, will they survive termites etc, but could be used to make affordable housing. Malaysia. I believe the supply from when they actually get the wood and use Using your own housing materials Malaysia will come to an end in the next it profitably they seem to be pleasantly would be more economical for you, but two or three years. u WOOD SPECIALIST Brian Leslie has almost 40 years’ experience in various aspects of the wood processing industry in Canada. His work has taken him all over the world to promote Canadian forest products with time spent in the UK, Romania and Africa. He specialises in market and product development for softwood lumber. As a technical specialist with Forestry Innovation Consulting, his aim is to increase the understanding of the softwood products from the sustainably managed forests of British Columbia. With an academic background in commerce and psychology from Simon Fraser University, he has applied his knowledge in a variety of public and private sector roles. He’s spent over 10 years as an educator in British Columbia Institute of Technology and College of New Caledonia. He has trained students, professionals and new entrants to the industry to help them understand how to select, process and to develop new wood products. Taking on tough assignments in Romania, South Africa, and Swaziland, Brian is experienced at getting “hands on” with people in processing environments to help companies get the best out of their manufacturing process and to maximise profits. NOVEMBER 2014|construction opportunities 55
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