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Belarus plans to set up six wood processing companies with foreign investors

MINSK, 1 February (BelTA) - Belarus plans to establish 6 new joint ventures in wood processing with foreign investors, Forestry Minister Mikhail Amelyanovich told reporters.

“We are talking about joint ventures to produce pellets, briquettes and chips. Negotiations are underway with investors from Poland, the Baltic States and the Czech Republic. Cooperation with foreign companies will help Belarus apply new technologies in the timber industry, and make wood processing more efficient,” the minister said.

To improve the efficiency of the industry eight new wood processing plants are being constructed in the country. “The wood, which we are exporting now in the amount of 2 million cubic meters, will be sent to the plants for processing. They will produce export-oriented products with high added value. All raw materials which we grow will be sent to these processing plants,” Mikhail Amelyanovich said.

Last year’s currency earnings from forestry exports totaled $134 million. The figure is believed to go up next year.

This year the main task for the industry is to secure the efficient use of forest resources and ensure high quality of processing. Logging manufactures are being upgraded to fulfill the task. The ministry is busy with raising investment in the sector. This year the investment in the forestry industry is expected to double to Br240 billion. Special attention will be attached to the construction of forest roads.

Upgrade projects will be implemented in tree seed nurseries, with new technologies promised for the area. Last year a modern tree seed center was opened in Shchuchino to produce seeds meeting international standards. The move will help Belarus start exporting its seeds to the EU this year.