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Canada’s forest industry – a key contributor to the economy

Canada’s forest industry is a major exporting sector, accounting for almost 6% of all Canadian exports in 2014, totaling $31 billion.

Over the past six years, forest products have contributed to 8-10% of the manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP). In fact, forestry creates more jobs and contributes to the balance of trade for every dollar of value added more than the minerals and metals sector, as well as the energy sector.

Global trade and innovation

While the U.S. market remains the main destination for Canadian forest products, the globalization of trade has reduced our dependency on this market; our forest products exports have fallen from 78% in 2003, to 65% in 2014. However, with the ongoing recovery of the U.S. economy, demand from this market should continue to stimulate Canada’s forest sector in the coming years.

Also stimulating and transforming the sector are new and innovative forest products, materials, and services. These include new building materials, such as cross-laminated timber; biofuels that can be substituted for fossil fuels; and biochemicals that can be used to produce bio-based pharmaceuticals, biodegradable plastics, personal care products and industrial chemicals.

For a more in-depth understanding of the economic impact and contributions of Canada’s forest industry, visit the Natural Resources Canada website and download the 25th edition of The State of Canada’s Forests report.

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Is there not a positive way the Canadian government can dedicate a comprehensive amount of funding for a revitalization in the paper sector of the forest industry.

    There are thousands of paper people who would very much enjoy the challange to mend an industry that has all but closed

    In the glory days of the 70s and 80s anyone who wanted a job only needed to show up prepared to work and they were granted a chance to create and build a solid secure career.

    Now in today’s era a person needs at least a degree in engineering to even come close to a interview let alone a position in a mill.

    A country like Canada can sustain a viable amount of productivity if given the support to get the paper building on the reel.

    J.M. Mackett


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