China has expressed the desire to participate in the construction of sulphate cellulose production sites in Khabarovsk Territory and Tomsk Region and timber processing plants in Amursk, said Deputy Minister of Industry, Science and Technology Sergei Mitin. Moreover, he said that Finnish companies intend to construct three saw-mills in the European region of Russia with a volume of production of 200 thousand cubic meters of saw-timber annually and a corrugated packaging factory.
'Precisely with these countries, through regulating tariffs and creating advantageous conditions for the distribution of production of timber products, we are preparing to develop a mechanism to attract investment, especially through the timber fund and privileges for importing equipment,' said Mitin.
However, Mitin said that talks are being drawn out. 'We are waiting for the end of the year and if there are no results, we will propose to the government to increase customs duties for exports of certain timber products,' he said. Mitin also said that in 2002 China imported from Russia 13.8 million cubic meters of timber or 61% more than in 2001. Exports to Finland during this period also increased by 7% to 11.5 million cubic meters.