Finnish-Russian forest summit in St Petersburg on 25 October 2009

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A Finnish-Russian forest summit will be held in St Petersburg on Sunday 25 Oct 2009. Prime ministers Vladimir Putin and Matti Vanhanen will open the event. The Finnish delegation will also include key government ministers as well as executives of forest industry companies. 

Russia is an important and interesting cooperation partner for the forest-based sector of Finland. Its growing economy and abundant energy and forest resources provide diverse opportunities for the development of business activities that will remain viable long into the future. The international success of a forest sector, which bases its activities on boreal raw materials, is a shared concern for Finland and Russia.

The forest industry of Finland has played a substantial role in developing the forest sector of Northwest Russia especially. Finnish forest industry corporations have invested about a billion euro into Russia; the country has attracted Finnish sawn timber, panel and paperboard manufacturers in particular. In addition to these investments, Finland’s forest industry has provided Russia with timber export revenues and created a substantial number of jobs in wood harvesting. Over the last 15 years, Russia has received some €7 billion from its timber exports to Finland.

Russia’s forest resources are the world’s largest at about 800 million hectares (Finnish forest resources: 22 million hectares) and Russian forests grow at an annual rate of about one billion cubic metres (Finland: about 100 million cubic metres). Over one hundred million cubic metres of Russian timber are used annually to make forest industry products.

Manufacturing of sawn timber and panel products makes up the majority of Russia’s forest industry. Total national output of pulp, paper and paperboard is equal to only about half of Finland’s aggregate production volumes of these goods. In all, the production of the forest-based sector of Russia was worth a little more than €17 billion in 2008. Its massive forest resources and up-to-now competitive cost base are strengths for the Russian forest industry. In addition to this, the domestic market is growing rapidly in Russia.

For more information, please contact:

Anneli Kotonen, Director, Russian Affairs,
Finnish Forest Industries Federation
tel. +358 9 132 6642

Anders Portin, Senior Vice President, Forestry and Infrastructure, Finnish Forest Industries Federation
tel. +358 9 132 6610