Zakhar Smushkin Takes Part in Russia-North America Business Dialogue

Захар Смушкин принял участие в бизнес-диалоге «Россия –Северная Америка»

Zakhar Smushkin, Chairman of JSC Ilim Group, was one of the panelists in the Russia-North America Business Dialogue held as part of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2021. Participants discussed the difficulties of building partnership between Russian and American businesses in current geopolitical environment, the way trade limitations and restrictions affect investments, and the challenges that Russia and the USA may address together.

Zakhar Smushkin noted that Ilim Group has been in a partnership with International Paper on a parity basis for over 14 years and the company has significantly increased its production output over this period. “The market is inversely proportional to political climate, therefore we will continue to invest. Next year we are completing construction of our new large-scale mill in Siberia, with total CAPEX over USD 1.2 billion. It will be the largest paperboard mill in Russia with a capacity of 630 thousand tons per year”, commented the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ilim Group. “Business activity is growing and we see opportunities in further cooperation”. Zakhar Smushkin also said that several of the issues we are facing today may only be resolved through international dialogue while taking into consideration the interests of business, government and the public.

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Sergey Kravchenko, President, Boeing Russia/CIS, Andrey Bugrov, Senior Vice President for Sustainable Development, Norilsk Nickel, Boris Titov, Presidential Commissioner of the Russian Federation for the Protection of Entrepreneurs’ Rights, Daniel Russell, President, US–Russia Business Council (USRBC) and others took part in the Russia-North America Business Dialogue.

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International Paper, the world's largest pulp and paper manufacturer, has been the strategic partner of Ilim Group since 2007. The joint venture efficient work allowed to successfully implement the largest investment program in the Russian forest products sector with CAPEX exceeding USD 3 billion. The key completed projects include: the world's largest bleached softwood fiberline in Siberia, modern capacities for production of high-quality white papers in the Arkhangelsk Oblast, as well as upgrade of the existing manufacturing assets and development of the state-of-the-art infrastructure.