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Artur Parfenchikov, Acting Head of the Republic of Karelia, proposed creating a Foreign Investment Coordinating Council

Artur Parfenchikov proposed this idea at the meeting with heads and representatives of Finnish and Russian-Finnish enterprises and investment companies. The meeting was attended by Alexander Chepik, the Prime Minister of the Government of Karelia, heads of industry-specific ministries and departments, and, from the Finnish side, by Consul Tuomas Kinnunen, Head of the Petrozavodsk branch of the Consulate General of Finland in St. Petersburg.

"The primary goal of the Council will be constructive communication based on the principles of trust and further cooperation. We have many joint ideas and initiatives. We need to remove breaks on foreign business activities in Karelia," said the Head of the Republic.

The meeting was held in the form of a dialogue. At the beginning, Artur Parfenchikov spoke about the main economic indicators of Karelia and prospects for the development of the region, where Finnish business is an important contributor: "Finland, our European neighbor, is traditionally a valuable partner of the Republic of Karelia. Bilateral cooperation is actively developing in many areas: joint activities as part of the Karelia Euroregion, and the implementation of cross-border cooperation programs between the Russian Federation and the European Union. The share of Finland in the trade turnover of Karelia in 2016 was 26%. There are great prospects for Finnish business in Karelia. They are connected with social and economic stability of the region. We have noted a steady growth in the volume of industrial production. The production index was 103.3%. In 2016, mineral output and manufacture volumes have increased."

Artur Parfenchikov noted that Finnish business may be interested in establishing new production facilities on the advanced social and economic development territories (ADTs) created in Karelia: "One of these territories was created in Nadvoitsy. An application for the establishment of an ADT in Kondopoga is being considered, and the creation of ADT is planned in Pudozh, Pitkyaranta, Kostomuksha. ADT's partners are guaranteed to receive preferences for income tax, property and land tax, as well as reduction of payments to non-budgetary state funds."

The following areas can be considered promising for cooperation: joint projects in the field of tourism services development, participation in agricultural projects, in particular, in the processing of agricultural products, collection and recycling of wild crops. In addition to the traditional forest industry complex, which is based on modern technologies of sustainable forest management, Artur Parfenchikov named the sphere of aquaculture development as a separate area for establishing partnership relations.

In his welcoming speech, Consul Tuomas Kinnunen noted the importance of economic, social and cultural relations between Finland and Russia, especially in the new areas of cooperation. Then the Consul gave the floor to the heads and representatives of Finnish companies. Each speaker specified the main work areas of enterprises and the range of issues of Russian-Finnish relations that need to be addressed not only at the regional, but also at the federal level.

Artur Parfenchikov proposed the creation of a Foreign Investment Coordinating Council affiliated to the Government of Karelia, where all the problematic issues for business, needed changes in legislation, and proposals for specific projects will discussed on a regular basis: "A lot has been achieved by the joint effort of Karelia and Finland, but we have even more opportunities to implement. For this purpose, a Council will be created, which I propose to be held on a regular basis at places of business."

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Created: May 24, 2017. Last updated: May 24, 2017.
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