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    Russia and China to begin forest management talks

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    MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) - For the first time, Russia and China will hold negotiations on forest management cooperation when a Chinese State Forestry Administration's delegation visits Moscow August 15-19, a spokesman for Russia's Natural Resources Ministry said.

    The talks will focus on the development of a joint program, including the creation of a database of Chinese enterprises that buy timber from Russia and Russian logging companies. The database will allow for tracking timber supplies and preventing illegal trade, the spokesman said

    The delegates will also review measures to fight forest fires along the countries' border and leasing regulations for Chinese logging companies operating in Russia.

    China leads the Russian timber industry trade with a total of $11.5 billion or 6.1% of Russia's foreign trade in 2004.

    Russia's annual exports to China amount to 15 million cubic meters of rough timber (37 % of Russia's round wood exports). China's share of Russian needle wood exports amounts to 45 %.

    Russia currently has 43 joint forest projects with China, extracting 1.9 million cubic meters of timber annually.

    China has invested more than $1 million in Russia's timber industry.

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