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30 Jan, 2008 03:11

Russia looks at timber to boost coffers

Russia has 20 per cent of the world's forestry resources, but is currently a minor player in the global timber trade. The Government is seeking to turn the industry into an advanced sector of the national economy within 12 years.

“Technical re-equipment and the creation of new deep wood-processing facilities should be a priority. We have to focus on processing wood instead of simply exporting it,” said Russian Prime Minister, Viktor Zubkov, during his visit to the Komi republic.

The overhaul of an entire industry will take time and millions of dollars and regions across Russia face similar problems, with outdated equipment, high tariffs and poor infrastructure.

This is changing with the government's emphasis on doing more with Russian timber than simply exporting raw logs.

Both foreign and domestic investments are meant to improve technology and the infrastructure and promote exports of processed timber. This year, millions of dollars will flow into the sector.