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Last Updated:[01-10-2010 01:38:41 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Russia Takes Lenient Approach on Timber Exports

tradenews The Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday told a roundtable forum that the country should discard the obsolete raw-materials export model to maintain growth of timber industry. He also said though the new Forest Code since 2006 approved higher round-timber export duties, in response to global meltdown, had twice delayed the scheduled hike.

Despite slackness in global markets, Russia has been able to witness stable growth in timber logging and related finished goods. The exports of Russian construction materials, paper and pulp are maintaining growth with the help of domestic and foreign players.

The first eight months of 2010, logging output increased by 8.8 percent. Timber production rose 11.8 percent, while the production of pulp, paper and cardboard increased by 7.1 percent. While the first six months of the same year has recorded growth of exports of sawn timber at 13 percent, pulp at7.3 percent and paper1.1 percent.

Putin welcomed more foreign investments in the timber industry, especially in building timber-processing units in Russia as they could create jobs and ensured higher incomes. He promised there had not been, nor would be, any investment restrictions in the industry in the immediate future.

Putin is understood to be involved in timber promotion as it has been noticed that industry workers were able to improve their standards of living with higher pay. He said when he visited Syktyvkar, a major lumbering hub, a skilled worker on insistence admitted that he earned about 70,000 roubles ($2300) a month.

The prime minister said that his government had provided continued support for the timber industry through various incentives including no-bid contracts for forest plots and a 50 percent discount on rent for investors implementing comprehensive forest-development program. This is the first time Putin has personally involved in the promotion of timber industry in recent times.

By Jose Roy

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