As part of a working trip to Zhytomyr region, on September 15, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal held a meeting on the development of the forestry and woodworking industries.
The meeting was attended by Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture Ihor Petrashko, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on State Building, Local Governance, Regional and Urban Development Andrii Klochko, Chairman of the State Agency of Forest Resources Vasyl Kuziovych, Head of Zhytomyr Regional State Administration Vitalii Bunechko, representatives of local governments and woodworking enterprises. The parties raised the issues of the general state of development of the forest industry and woodworking industry in the region, the fight against illegal logging, forest protection from fires and the development of woodworking enterprises in Zhytomyr region.
Denys Shmyhal stressed that the woodworking industry is an important component of the economy of Zhytomyr region - the share of exports is almost 20% of the total volume.
"In order to increase production volumes and further develop the industry, the President has set a number of systemic tasks. These include conducting a national inventory of forest resources and creating electronic timber accounting, selling timber on a competitive basis, as well as strengthening liability for violations of legislation in the field of forest resources," said the Head of Government.
According to the Prime Minister, the forest sector is characterized by a number of long-lasting problems that Ukraine has been living with since the Soviet times. Systemic reform is needed to address them.
"In the coming months, a concept of forest sector reform should be developed so that Ukraine can properly manage this renewable resource. With the capacities of enterprises to process 1.2 million cubic meters of wood, the current availability of raw materials is three to four times under. Proper forest management, combating illegal logging, fire prevention are the priorities that require coordinated work of law enforcement agencies, the line Ministry, the Government, the State Forestry Agency and local communities," said Denys Shmyhal.
Moreover, during the working trip, the Prime Minister got acquainted with the activities of Ukrainian Holding Sawmill Company LLC. The Head of Government stressed that woodworking enterprises of the region have been competing on equal terms in world markets and today this result can be seen in the example of Zhytomyr region.
"Investments, new jobs, the region's economy is developing, taxes are being paid. In addition, one of the world leaders in the furniture market has ambitious plans to open production in Ukraine, thereby providing new sales opportunities for woodworking companies. For its part, the state must create conditions for the effective development of the industry and ensuring a balance between the interests of business and the preservation of Ukrainian forests for future generations," said Denys Shmyhal.