Настороженный оптимизм и новые вложения в локальных поставщиков - итоги диалога членов АИП с иностранными инвесторами
Cautious optimism - could be described the general mood of participants of the online breakfast “Foreign business in Russia in the context of a corona-crisis”, held on 28 April.
The online event was organized by the AIP Russia together with the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia AmCham and the French-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI France Russie). Among participants of the event were not only members of the Association of Industrial Parks, but also international corporations, including the French companies like Danone, Saint-Gobain, the Austrian Leitner Group, Japanese Mitsubishi, JETRO and many others. In total, more than 100 participants joined the discussion. The moderator was Denis ZHURAVSKIY, Executive Director of AIP Russia.
The event began with the Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in Austria Alexander POTEMKIN about situation in the Austrian economy and opinions on the pace of normal work restoration and investment plans of Austrian companies.
AmCham President Alexis RODZYANKO outlined the mood of American business and noted that, according to a recent survey, unfortunately, 90% of members expect a reduction in business as a result of coronavirus. But at the same time, none of them claims to curtail their business or abandon investment projects.
CCI France Russie CEO Pavel SHINSKY noted that French companies continue to work in Russia and are determined to overcome difficulties, but expressed disappointment at the decline in government support for businesses, including support for small and medium enterprises with foreign participation, which many Chamber employers providing jobs for Russian citizens.
Marina BALABANOVA, DANONE Vice President for Russia and the CIS, assured participants that, despite the tactical difficulties of operating activities, all of the company's investment plans in Russia remain valid. In addition to existing investment programs, Danone's global office has decided to invest about 250 million euros in support of partners - small and medium-sized suppliers who have found themselves in a difficult situation due to the crisis, 25 million of which will be used to support local suppliers in Russia.
Currently, Danone’s cumulative investment in the Russian economy exceeds US $ 2.5 billion. The company has about 20 manufacturing enterprises in different regions of the country.
Rafael ZOHRABYAN, director of one of the divisions of Saint-Gobain, said that currently all 8 Russian plants of the company are working (some of them resumed production after a short pause), and also confirmed Saint-Gobain's intention to invest in the establishment of another enterprise in one of industrial parks of Russia. The project is in a high stage and it is planned to enter the construction site this year.
The participants exchanged views on the prospects for economic recovery, the consequences of the current crisis and discussed upcoming business changes, including a partial reorientation of supply chains to local autonomy, increasing demand for logistic services and other pressing issues.