Finnish Forest Industries Federation chairman calls for swift resolution to softwood tariff quota, export duty problems following Russia's accession to WTO, at Finnish-Russian summit in Helsinki

HELSINKI , November 21, 2012 (press release) – The Finnish-Russian forest summit arranged in Helsinki on 14 November focused on opportunities for bilateral cooperation in forest policy, the bioeconomy and wood construction.
According to the Finnish Forest Industries Federation Chairman Juha Vanhainen, the fact that both Finland and the northern regions of Russia belong to the boreal coniferous forest zone forms the basis for cooperation in the forest-based sector.

“In this region, generation after generation has learned to recognise two facts. First, forests do not disappear when exploited with skill – on the contrary, good forest management boosts growth. And second, the industrial utilisation of forests and wood fibres generates prosperity and security for local people,” Vanhainen said.

Quick resolution of Russia's WTO accession agreement problems is important for the forest industry

Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation in summer 2012 was positive for the forest industry. Russia is an important trade partner for the forest industry of Finland, in particular near the eastern border, where Russian timber imports supplement domestic wood procurements. Furthermore, the position of Finnish forest industry products will improve on the Russian market once their export duties decrease along with Russia's accession to the WTO.

Implementation of the WTO agreement has, however, run into some problems regarding softwood tariff quotas and the export duties levied on certain products.

“The entire forest-based sector of Finland hopes that the new opportunities for trade and economic cooperation framework will be implemented uncontroversially and as soon as possible on the practical level as well,” Vanhainen said.

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