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Developing Businesses Related to Wood Sourcing and Refining – North Ostrobothnia – Kainuu – Karelia
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The goal of the project was to develop a strong sourcing and refining cooperation network in the North Ostrobothnia – Karelia region in order to support export to third countries. The purpose was to create and improve the prerequisites for profitable business operations, secure jobs and create new jobs.

Main activities

• Mapping, assessment and networking activities to seek potential companies, • Elaboration of detailed activity and objective plans for 41 Finnish companies, • An assessment of the companies that were purchasing and refining wood in Russian Karelia using documentation, the Internet, phone interviews and visits, • Creation of operative groups for the wood sourcing network, • Organising seminars and planning meetings regarding wood sourcing and purchasing for wood-refining companies.


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 visits. During the company visits, 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. Potential companies in the Republic of Karelia were assessed using documentation, the internet, phone interviews and visits. A total of 16 Russian companies were assessed. Operative groups were created for the operations of 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-refining companies. The starting points of 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 refining 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 project’s long-term operational model.

Basic information



2002-12-01 - 2003-12-31

Total Budget / Programme funding

276 563 € / 193 594 €

Lead partner

The Oulu Region Joint Authority for Education
Lead partner web-site


The Ministry of Foreign Relations of the Republic of Karelia
Several companies in the Oulu region