Forest management activities in Washington State.

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Business Finland is hosting an unprecedented visit by a large delegation from the North American forest and wood products industry, marking a significant milestone in international collaboration. Over 60 delegates from nine U.S. states and Nova Scotia, Canada, are touring Finland to gain insights into the country's advanced forestry practices and innovative wood-based technologies.

For five days, the delegates will visit various Finnish industrial plants, research institutions, and universities.

They will explore forestry management, wood construction, and logging practices across southern, central, western, and eastern Finland. The aim is to familiarize the North Americans with Finland's forest expertise, sustainable forest policies, carbon reduction strategies, and the diverse operations of the Finnish forest industry.

Ulla Lainio, Senior Advisor at Business Finland Washington D.C., stated, "The large group is touring industrial and forest sites to share knowledge about forestry, forest management, wood building, and logging. This visit reflects the significant interest in Finland's forest innovations."

The delegates are particularly interested in Finland's manufacturers of forest machines and wood construction equipment, as well as new bio-products such as wood-textile fibers, wood-based building materials, and biofuels. The goal is to foster collaboration in smart forestry, forest health, wood construction, and biomass sectors.

The U.S. forest industry has traditionally been underutilized due to cheap fossil energy and abundant hydropower. However, with the Biden administration's renewed focus on combating climate change, there is a growing interest in biofuels, biomass utilization, forest fire prevention, and advanced forest management technologies. The Inflation Reduction Act provides grants and tax incentives for the forestry sector, making this an opportune time for international collaboration.

Wooden house building is common in North America, with a high demand for suppliers of wood construction equipment, prefabricated house solutions, and CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber) and LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) production lines. The delegation aims to find efficient construction solutions to address housing shortages and achieve carbon neutrality.

Finland, along with Sweden, is a global leader in the forest bioeconomy. The North American delegation seeks partners in both industry and research to support the renewal and diversification of the forestry sector.

Outi Suomi, Circular Transition for Zero Waste Mission Lead at Business Finland, emphasized, "The forest policy is now favorable for reforms, and there is unprecedented interest towards Finland. The collaboration and mutual business opportunities for Finland's and North America's forest industries are significant."

During their stay, the delegation will visit notable companies and research institutions, including Koskisen, Veisto, VTT, Pinomatic, UPM, Stora Enso, Metsä Group, Ponsse, University of Eastern Finland, John Deere, Business Joensuu, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Kira Hub, and Aalto University. They will also meet with over 25 forest sector companies showcasing innovative wood-based products, advanced wood construction techniques, and forest fire prevention solutions.

The delegation includes top officials responsible for forest use from Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, Colorado, Arkansas, California, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, and Nova Scotia, as well as representatives from leading research universities, sawmills, major forestry companies, forest owners, logging companies, wood architecture firms, and investors.

This historic visit is expected to pave the way for significant collaborations and advancements in the global forest industry, highlighting Finland's pivotal role in sustainable forestry and wood innovation.

HT

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