Harbin – In 2013, the output value of Longjiang Forest Industry amounted to 49.65 billion yuan, the fifth consecutive year of growth. To date, it developed eight industries, including tree planting, timber production, breeding, forest-related foods, medicine, forest tourism and clean energy, and embarked on the path of sustainable growth.

Economic structure has been optimized, and a complete industry system has been formed

Wei Diansheng, director-general of the Heilongjiang Forest Industry Administration, said that economic development of the forest zones has always been its top priority.The zones, after the suspension of tree-felling, have focused on developing forest-related industries, including tree planting, timber production, breeding, forest-related foods, medicine, forest tourism and clean energy, and a batch of industry bases and projects has been started, including timber deep-processing, green food production, medicinal herbs, fungi cultivation and forest tourism. These bases and projects. And with the establishment of some brands, the traditional image of relying on raw timber has been transformed.

In March 2012, the Xinglong Forest Bureau signed an agreement with Jinluo Group to develop the second phase of a meat processing project. According to Yang Congjun, deputy director of the bureau, the project will have a capacity of slaughtering and processing 800,000 animals a year and will have an annual output value of 1 billion yuan. It will become a leading breeding and processing enterprise in the zone.

Eco-tourism has become one of the typical industries in the forest regions. The snow-related tourism project will generate 50 million yuan in revenue each year, and ski resorts and tourism attractions include Xuexiang, Yabuli, Fenghuangshan and Chaihe Xiaojiuzhai.

In 2002, revenue from tourism-related industries for Longjiang Forest Industry was only 140 million yuan, and the number of tourists received was 350,000. By the end of 2013, the revenue has risen to 4.1 billion yuan and the number of visitors had increased to 7.9 million.

Investment begins to bear fruits with upgrading of projects

With forests, snow, wetlands and lakes as advantages of the zones, investment continues to flood in. In 2013 alone, 48 investment projects were inked, involving a total investment of 6.18 billion yuan.

The construction of the startup enterprises park of the Tongbei Forest Bureau started in 2012 and by the beginning of 2014, a total of 20 enterprises had moved into the park. Zhao Zhongyi, chief of the forest industry section of the bureau, said the output of toothpicks produced in the zone now accounts for 80 percent of the global total, with an annual output value of 110 million yuan. The park has signed timber supply contracts with the far eastern regions of Russia.

According to You Jiangang, director of the reform and development commission of the Chaihe Forest Bureau, the bureau attracted investments amounting to 2.16 billion yuan in the past few years for 16 projects. Taxes paid by these projects had amounted to 35.6 million yuan. When all these projects go into operation, they will add 450 million yuan in output value and 150 million yuan in taxes a year to the bureau, and will be able to provide jobs to 6,640 people.

These projects and industrial parks will strengthen the eight industries of the forest zones, and help lift the regions to the path of sustainable development.

(Chen Xianchun, Zhang Rui and Wang Rui report)