On April 29-30, 2018, the next stage of the National Forest Forum took place in Karelia. One of the important issues discussed at the forum was the creation of a timber industry cluster.

This was discussed at the Kalevala DOK enterprise, which, together with PJSC Solomenskiy Lumber Plant, has been working since 2016 to form a timber processing cluster. At present, an agreement has been signed on participation in the Cluster with 11 companies representing various fields of activity, from timber harvesting to the production of various types of products.

Head of Karelia Arthur Parfenchikov, Chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources, Property and Land Relations of the State Duma of Russia Nikolay Nikolayev, State Duma deputy from the republic Valentina Pivnenko, heads of enterprises of the forest industry of the region took part in the discussion of the topic.

The main problem in creating a forest cluster is a discrepancy in legislation. In accordance with the federal law on industrial policy, logging enterprises do not belong to industrial enterprises and, therefore, cannot enjoy the benefits and preferences granted to cluster members. According to Artur Parfenchikov, the Government of the Republic has already sent proposals to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia to include timber harvesting and transport organizations in the industrial cluster, on whose work depends the provision of raw materials for timber processing industries. These proposals are partially taken into account and are now being considered in the Government of Russia. The issue was also raised at a meeting on the development of the country's forestry complex, which was held on July 20 in Petrozavodsk by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The Head of Karelia has charged the Republican Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology to prepare specific amendments to the legislation related to the creation of a timber industry cluster.

Changes and proposals to the legislative acts, which the forum participants will consider, will concern not only the forest industry, but also many other areas: hunting development, gathering wild berries, fire fighting, etc.

«The most important outcome of the National Forest Forum should be a package of decisions that will be developed and submitted to the legislators at the federal level as soon as possible. This will be a serious contribution to solving the problems of the forest industry», - said the Head of the Region, Arthur Parfenchikov.

The National Forest Forum is organized under the auspices of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. Karelia was chosen by the region from among the other subjects of the North-West Federal District to conduct its V stage. The forum has already been held in Izhevsk, Khanty-Mansiysk, Khabarovsk, Barnaul, and its final stage will be held in Moscow in September.