As you know and you probably referred to, we've had a program for a number of years called Canada Wood. This program is meant to bring wood products associations from across the country who represent many companies, and then they can promote wood products in a given market. China happens to be the main thrust of our activities for this current year. The federal government is putting about $2.5 million into market development in China, and this amount of money is cost-shared with the forest industry and the provinces, so our $2.5 million leverages probably another $2.5 million.
Quite a wide array of activities are being conducted in China, ranging from supporting associations at trade shows to promote Canadian wood products, to working with government officials to change codes to be more amenable to wood, to having construction specialists on site who will help the Chinese builders and developers build with wood. Building houses out of wood is a fairly recent phenomenon in China, so we've spent a lot of time educating builders on how to safely construct a house out of wood while conforming to the building code.
You asked what the biggest challenges are. China being a huge country, first I think the biggest challenge is to educate consumers that wood is a viable product and a very liveable product for housing. Second, and I mentioned this earlier, is training builders on how to build safely out of wood. Third, with the new softwood lumber action plan money, we have increased resources to fund demonstration buildings. You can build these buildings and people can see that, yes, they are constructed safely. They are very friendly.
I was there just last week, and I was amazed at the number of people I talked to who said, yes, they just love being in a wooden house; you can see the wood panelling, the wood flooring. We need to be portraying that message and getting to the Chinese consumer, because as you probably realize, with the growing middle class, more and more people in China are going to be wanting, and be able to buy, houses, and not necessarily single-family. We're looking at multi-storey houses.
We have had a program. Mr. Mason mentioned some of the successes of that program. When we ask the industry where the next market is that they think we should be developing wood products for, they just say, “China: more China”. We focused a lot on the eastern side, and now we're looking more in the interior of the country.