Mumbai

FII India to bring wood-building expertise from Canada

Pranesh Chhibber, country director, FII India.

Pranesh Chhibber, country director, FII India.  

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In next phase of company’s growth, it will go beyond sourcing Canadian wood as a sustainable alternative

Over five years, Forest Innovation Investments India Pvt Ltd (FII India), the British Columbia government’s market development agency for forest products in India, created awareness in the country about Canadian wood. It is now on its second phase of growth in the country.

“In the first five years, we focused on the manufacturing industry, which was making doors, windows and furniture. We are looking forward to the next five years,” said Pranesh Chhibber, country director, FII India.

Mr. Chhibber said the company had made changes to its strategy. “Initially, we focused 100% on the wood manufacturing industry but because we were able to create enough buzz and demand for Canadian wood, we are now helping to build the capability in India to build with wood. So we are not just helping source wood from Canada but are also bringing in the expertise and sharing it with the people here on how to build with wood,” he said.

High net worth individuals (HNIs), who wanted their farm houses to be built in wood and the hospitality industry which was looking at creating resorts, have shown interest to build in wood as there was no expertise available earlier, he said. “We are now in the process of building a few demonstration houses. The structures will be available to people in the industry to show developers, the hospitality industry and HNIs how it looks and what can be done with wood,” he said.

He said some houses are being built and will be complete by the end of this fiscal. By then, half-a-dozen houses in different forms and styles will be ready in the South, West and North for people to see.

Mr. Chhibber also said the import of lumber and softwood is growing. “In the next five years we would like to see a much larger presence in India of the Canadian wood species. Other exporting countries are helping to grow the market,” he said.

The annual wood import to India is estimated at 7 million cubic meters by volume and around $2 billion in value terms. Five years ago, the share of softwood import was 33% of the total wood imports to India. Today, it has increased to 45%. Lumber imports too have started growing. Over the past five years, the share of lumber import has gone up to 22% from 9% of total wood imports to India.

“It is observed that the share of softwood lumber import into India from around the world is growing. Over the past five years, it has grown to 14% from 4%. We expect this share to increase to 25% in the next three years,” Mr. Chhibber said.

He said Canada’s share of total softwood lumber imports to India has been around 5%.

With most of India’s forests being protected and not enough local wood available, imported lumber is meeting the demand.

Most wood comes into India from New Zealand (27%), Malaysia (17%), South America (16%), Europe (14%) and Africa (12%). North America, at 6%, is gradually increasing its share as a major supplier to India.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 7:55:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/fii-india-to-bring-wood-building-expertise-from-canada/article30507900.ece

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