The period between 1978 and 1997 saw the slow introduction of a series of market reforms that would gradually redefine the organisation of the national economy. This was accompanied by reforms that addressed the problems of the forestry sector, both in the collective (privately owned) forests in the Southeast, and in the state-owned forests in the Northeast. In the more densely inhabited Southeast, the government distributed forestland to households, which were now allowed to invest and obtain incomes from the sale of forest products, while being responsible for their conservation. In the more sparsely inhabited Northeast, the government undertook financial reforms to attempt to address the indebtedness and mismanagement of the state-owned forest enterprises and state linchang. These reforms were accompanied with the slow introduction of a price of timber that would be market-determined, but were gradual and partial, the government maintaining strict controls in particular over the amount of timber harvested.
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Vol. 14 • No. 1