North Karelia – China cooperation in forest bioeconomy development

The Regional Programme of North Karelia (Pokat 2021) emphasizes forest bioeconomy and its new technologies and materials as the source of growth. Growth potential is also seen in tourism, especially in nature-based tourism. Recently, growing Chinese interests in North Karelia have been related e.g. to bio-based textiles and tourism. Given this background, the project is designed to unlock the forest bioeconomy development potential in North Karelia region, optimize forest bioeconomy value chains and increase capacity of the North Karelian forest bioeconomy sector related especially to SMEs to respond to the growing Chinese markets and interests on forest bioeconomy. The project also aims to address information and knowledge gaps that actors, especially SMEs, face in China-related activities. The objectives of the project are to identify increased Chinese market and investment interests on wood-based products and nature-based tourism in North Karelia; Map and provide pathways, especially for SMEs, to utilize increased Chinese interests on forest bioeconomy; Increase capacity and knowledge of the North Karelian forest sector to respond to the growing Chinese demand; Assess the potential impacts of upgrading regional bioeconomy including job creation; Establish linkages with potential Chinese business partners.

The project consists of four interlinked work packages (WP1: Current situation in North Karelia and China; WP2: Sectoral opportunities and value chains; WP3: Impact assessment; WP4: From synthesis to business development), through which the activities of the project are carried out. The results of the project will provide useful knowledge, information, potential customers and business development road maps to forest bioeconomy business actors, especially SMEs, in the region to better explore and expand China markets and to attract Chinese investments.

Project is ongoing (1.9.2019-30.6.2022).

KIBIO is funded by the Regional Council of North Karelia through the European Regional Development Fund.


European Forest Institute

Natural Resources Institute Finland