Like China, Russia is experiencing a downturn in its economy.

In a bid to sell more timber and sawn wood, the Russian government have invited the world’s timber and sawn wood importers and exporters to a conference within a conference in Moscow on the 3rd March. The aim is to make Russian forest products more attractive to both overseas and domestic users.

To this end, the Russians are seeking international clarification of standards in areas such as quality, trading methods, transportation, pricing and distribution to name but a few. In other words, Moscow wants to pick the brains of successful timber trading nations in order that its own industry can play on a level playing field.

Hold on though, for the past 16 years Russia has been a capitalist state where the winds of free trade blow freely. Sometimes warm, sometimes cold. Now in timber terms that they are suffering a ‘Russian winter.’ So the question is: are they seeking old style communist protection, in other words, let all timber traders offer the end user exactly the same, be that pricing, transportation etc or is this a genuine and legitimate attempt to improve the Russian timber sector by adhering to the same quality, environmental protection and trading knowledge strategies as the rest of the world?

You decide.

Madeleine

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