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Developing Businesses Related to Wood Sourcing and Refi ning – North Ostrobothnia – Kainuu – Karelia
Start date: Nov 30, 2002, End date: Dec 30, 2003 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Finnish forest cluster, which was built based on the refi ning of wood, may decline if it continues on the same basis as before. Th e goal of the project was to develop a strong sourcing and refi ning cooperation network in the North Ostrobothnia – Karelia region in order to support export to third countries. Th e new cooperation network was to be used to increase the value added from the wood refi ning chain and to improve expertise in North Ostrobothnia and Karelia. Th e purpose was to create and improve the prerequisites for profi table business operations, secure jobs and create new jobs. An essential goal of the project was also to develop the business activities associated with refi ning wood through long-term partnerships and training and by organising company specialisations and contract preparation. Th e perception was that as international competition has arrived in Karelia, the competitive advantage and delivery reliability of companies in the region could be improved using long-term training and practice through cooperation with the Republic of Karelia. Th e project was also to assess the fi nancial opportunities for utilising new felling areas deeper into Karelia and Russia. Achievements: The mapping, assessment and networking phase of the project was primarily completed through company visits. Potential Finnish wood industry companies were sought from registries and the 72 most suitable companies were selected for the company visits, during which the companies also offered their business partners for inclusion in the research. Detailed activity and objective plans were created for a total of 41 Finnish companies during the project. An assessment of the companies that were purchasing and refining wood was also completed in Russian Karelia. A total of 16 potential Russian companies in the Republic of Karelia were assessed using documentation, the Internet, phone interviews and visits. Operative groups were created for the wood sourcing network, which included companies in the project area that operate in Finland and Russian Karelia. Seminars and planning meetings regarding wood sourcing and purchasing, for example, were organised in Oulu for wood-refi ning companies. Initially the project included the import of wood, primarily round wood, from Russian Karelia. During the project, however, the Russian operational environment changed. There was pressure to import wood in the company network; however, during the project a strong increase in export levies was observed and it became apparent that importing wood from Karelia to Finland in the long term could only be based on importing pre-handled wood. This, along with the focus area being moved more to the west of Kuusamo, shifted the project emphasis from the importation of raw materials for sawmills to a greater emphasis on serving refi ning and export activities. It also became apparent during the project that the decision-making institutions in Karelia would like to secure more investment in the Republic; therefore, it was deemed necessary to consider Finnish investments in the Republic of Karelia as well when considering the projects long-term operational model.
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  • 70%   203 960,40
  • 2000 - 2006 Euregio - Karelia  (FI-RU)
  • Project on KEEP Platform

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