The measures of the state support of the timber industry were discussed at the annual conference in Vienna

The measures of the state support of the timber industry were discussed at the annual conference in Vienna

The V International Conference “Russian Pulp & Paper Industry (PPI) – New Realities, New Opportunities” started on 04 December in Vienna (Austria). The conference on Pulp & Paper Industry (PPI) has already become one of the traditional dialogue platforms for discussing issues on the development of the pulp and paper industry, which allows the estimation of current status of this sector of the economy and determination of the priorities for the future development.

The subject of the opening panel discussion was “The Strategy for Development of the forest sector of the Russian Federation: the implementation plan. The restrictions on ecology and timber supply”. The discussion was attended by: Viktor Evtukhov, State Secretary – Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, Alexander Panfilov, Deputy Head of the Federal Forestry Agency (Rosleskhoz), Sergey Gaplikov, Head of the Republic of Komi, Igor Orlov, Governor of the Arkhangelsk Region, Anatoli Steinberg, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SFT Group, Klaus Peller, General Director of Mondi Syktyvkar JSC, and Nikolay Ivanov, Managing Director for Implementation of State Programs and Forest Industry Policy of Segezha Group.

Within the framework of the session, experts have discussed the current issues of the Russian and global timber industry. According to analysts, 2018 was the peak year for the macroeconomic cycle in the global timber industry. Demand for almost all types of forest products in the global market was growing in both volumes and prices, with beneficial impact on performance indicators of the Russian timber industry: the total revenue of the timber industry increased by 18%, amounting to 1.8 trillion rubles, and exports exceeded $14 billion. However, at the end of 2018, negative tendencies in the Chinese economy intensified, affecting the fall in prices for basic types of the forest products.

Despite the difficult external market conditions, the Russian exporters managed to increase the volume of exports in physical terms for almost all key products except pulp in the first 8 months of 2019. Such growth has been achieved, inter alia, due to the foundation of stability laid in recent years. These facts are confirmed by the growth of production in 2019 for all major products.

“We strive to create favorable conditions for investors through the formation of new support measures and the transformation of old ones. We have both regulatory and subsidiary support measures. The system-forming impetus for investors, which has proved its effectiveness is the mechanism of priority projects. There are 157 projects in the list of priority now, with a total investment of 556 billion rubles (actually invested 431 billion rubles), 111 of them were completed. There are 46 projects under implementation. In general, more than 1 trillion rubles of investments have been invested in the industry for 10 years,” noted Viktor Evtukhov, State Secretary – Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, in his speech.

Other measures of state support were also discussed in the framework of discussion: the loans of the Industrial Development Fund (over RUB 5 billion from 2017), the subsidies for transportation of exported products (RUB 11 billion from 2017), SPIC (Special Investment Contract) 2.0, the Investment Promotion and Protection Bill (Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements, IPPA) and the export support mechanism of CPIC, which is already wanted by 127 forestry companies to be used today. The planned volume of loans for the creation or modernization of production facilities for 6 years is 577 billion rubles, and the agreed amount of subsidies is 41 billion rubles.

At the moment the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia is working hard with companies on implementation of projects and expresses its further willingness to make the necessary amendments to legislation with the aim of creating favorable conditions for industrial enterprises.