RUSSIAN-JAPANESE JOINT VENTURE OPENS IN IRKUTSK REGION

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IRKUTSK, October 1 (RIA Novosti's Alexander Batalin) - A joint Russian-Japanese lumber mill opened in the Irkutsk Region, the regional administration said Friday.

The new Sibexportles-Tairiku lumber mill was built in the Iguirma settlement with equal Russian and Japanese participation.

Modern equipment has allowed the entire production cycle - from grading logs to loading finished products - to be automated. About 40% of the lumber will be exported.

After the plant reaches its design capacity, it is expected to bring up to 100 million rubles ($1=29.22 rubles) to the local and regional budgets.

"Joint ventures like this with similar investment terms will also be set up in other districts of the region," Governor Boris Govorin of the Irkutsk Region said.

According to him, talks with Chinese and Malaysian companies are now under way.

"The operation of such enterprises will make it possible to reduce unprocessed timber exports from the Baikal area, and will make the timber sector of the regional economy more efficient," the governor said.

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