INNOPROM 2017 gives Tatarstan contacts with the company of billionaire Iskander Makhmudov

Tatarstan does not become interested in high technology from Japan at the forum but negotiates with Russian metallurgists

INNOPROM 2017 gives Tatarstan contacts with the company of billionaire Iskander Makhmudov Photo: ugmk.com

At the international industrial exhibition INNOPROM 2017, Tatarstan negotiators focused not on exorbitant ''smart technology'' from Japan, which has become a partner country of the Ural forum for the first time, but paid attention to ''daily bread''. In Yekaterinburg, the government of Tatarstan held a new cycle of negotiations with Ural manufacturers of metallurgical products — the United metallurgical company and the Ural mining and metallurgical company, trying to establish direct supply of pipes, copper, nonferrous metal, ''even gold bars for Tatarstan banks'', as the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Tatarstan Albert Karimov noted. They have not succeeded to cut the intermediary ties in the supply of metal from the Urals to Tatarstan yet, but now the chances have increased, which perhaps can be considered the main trophy from ''Ural Hanover''. Read details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

About how Tatarstan has become a permanent participant of INNOPROM

The international industrial exhibition INNOPROM held in Yekaterinburg since the beginning of 2013 has finally received recognition of the government of Tatarstan and was included in the catalogue of major Russian exhibitions where Tatarstan has a mandatory exposition. Anticipating the results of the Republic's participation in INNOPROM, Vice-Premier of Tatarstan government, Minister of Industry and Trade of Tatarstan Albert Karimov, honestly said that ''Tatarstan for the first time of several years of the exhibition's operating presented its own exposition'', or in other words, it was officially ''registered'' as a permanent participant of INNOPROM.

At the same time, one cannot say that Tatarstan officials were ignoring the Ural exhibition. For example, when it was first visited by the head of the government Dmitry Medvedev in 30-degree July heat in 2013, the troop of Tatarstan officials landed at the site of Yekaterinburg-Expo. That time, the newborn Ural exhibition was visited by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Tatarstan Ildar Mingaleyev after the Prime Minister, however, he did not advertise his arrival.

Albert Karimov honestly said that ''Tatarstan for the first time of several years of the exhibition's operating presented its own exposition'', or in other words, it was officially ''registered'' as a permanent participant of INNOPROM. Photo: prav.tatarstan.ru

It was just impossible not to attend INNOPROM 2017: on the opening day of INNOPROM 2017, they were waiting for President Vladimir Putin, whose visit became a magnet for big business and regional governors. As Albert Karimov stated at a briefing, the country–partner of INNOPROM 2017 was Japan. Last year it was India, and next year it will be South Korea. The exhibition took place on the territory of IEC Yekaterinburg-Expo with the total area of 60,000 square meters and attracted more than 600 companies from 17 countries. INNOPROM 2017 had a Japanese accent, since it was attended by more than 150 Japanese industrial companies and about 500 members of delegations, including more than 20 heads of large national companies. The national exhibition of Japan included such corporations as Toyota, Fanuc, JGC, Yokogawa Electric, Mitsubishi. The Japanese delegation was headed by Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan Hiroshige Sekō.

Will Japanese machines be replaced by Chistopol ones?

However, the interest of Tatarstan business to leading Japanese companies was noticeably weak. The exposition of Tatarstan, prepared together with the Investment Development Agency, was exhibited in the digital image, without top persons of Tatarstan companies. Inside the frame of the exhibition stand the information about the products of the Republic was broadcasted from new Internet portal ''Made in Tatarstan'', said Albert Karimov. Among Tatarstan participants, he named companies such as KAMAZ, POZIS, Bugulminsky electric pump plant, GC INVENT, and that's it. To put it mildly, it is unlikely that these companies have a reason to seek business contacts for joint projects. They rather focused on expansion of relations within Russia.

What new have Tatarstan negotiators discovered for themselves in the Japanese exposition if a year ago a large delegation of CEOs already went on a voyage to Japan? Suffice it to recall that probably the main point of the visit then was Fanuc, the leader in industrial automation.

''Will contacts with Fanuc be continued?'' asked the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya. Stressing the importance of Tatarstan-Japanese business relations, Albert Karimov noted that the use of robots expands, it becomes harder to compete, so it all depends on the ratio price-quality. ''In any case, we will continue this work,'' he closed diplomatically the topic.

Stressing the importance of Tatarstan-Japanese business relations, Albert Karimov noted that the use of robots expands, it becomes harder to compete, so it all depends on the ratio price-quality. Photo: Maksim Platonov

But he had to return to it again when the topic of modernization of the machinery of Tatarstan enterprises was raised. According to him, not only foreign companies and the Russian group STAN is striving to enter Tatarstan market, but also the company BETAR. According to Albert Karimov, a possibility of localization of production machines in Chistopol is being under discussion.

Tatarstan is preparing to start ''Conversion''

Another topical issue discussed at INNOPROM 2017 was the problem of conversion of the defence enterprises. As Albert Karimov explained, after 2010, the volume of the state defence order, placed at the enterprises, will decrease dramatically, so by 2025 in their portfolio 50% is to account for civilian goods. According to him, projects are being prepared for funding of the Federal Industrial Development Fund (IDF) in the framework of the programme ''Conversion''. ''According to the programme Conversion, the federal IDF gives the opportunity for defence companies to get financial loan at 1% per annum in the first 3 years with a loan term up to 5 years under condition of co-financing the project in the amount of not less than 50% of the total budget,'' he said. The funds received can be allocated to carry out experimental-design works, for production of a pilot batch and purchase of equipment.

However, he flatly refused to name the enterprises that are ready to apply for getting an unprecedented cheap money. ''The programme was announced only on 6 July this year,'' he pleaded. ''It is valid only two to three weeks. We are preparing documents for submission to the IDF on the industry development fund, and the projects are being under elaboration,'' he explained the reason for the ''backstage mystery''. ''Paperwork is being in progress, let's wait until we are done with the routine, please, and we will report about the results in a month,'' he promised. Answering to the question who is preparing to go for conversion to VEB, he said that Vnesheconombank when going to ''defenсe industry'' has not formed final loan terms. ''There is no exact mechanism,'' he said, preventing comparison with the state programme ''Conversion''. ''They are difficult to compare, but the programme at 1% per annum is difficult to find in Russia, and even at 5% it is impossible to find money. 5% — it is attractive conditions, but 1% — just unique,'' he said. As Realnoe Vremya previously wrote, on the line of VEB, first to get financing can be the Zelenodolsk plant named after Gorky.

As it is known, another shareholder of the company is billionaire Iskander Makhmudov (40%). Photo: ugmk.com

The trumpet calls!

However, the main trophy which was taken by Tatarstan negotiators from the exhibition was the agreement with the Ural pipe plants on establishing direct supplies to the enterprises of Tatarstan. According to Albert Karimov, during INNOPROM, they visited the enterprises of the United metallurgical company and met with CEO and co-owner of the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC) Andrey Kozitsyn. As it is known, another shareholder of the company is billionaire Iskander Makhmudov (40%).

''Our task is to eliminate multiple intermediaries operating in the market, not only in supply of pipes, but also of copper, non-ferrous metals, rare earth metals, but the cooperation does not end there. We are talking about a large amount of equipment, including KAMAZ vehicles used by the companies in developing quarries, so there are questions concerning maintenance. Besides, they are also discussing questions of direct supply of gravel, remaining after ore production. There are plans in agriculture, and even in the supply of gold bars to the banking system. They mould gold up to 9 tonnes a year,'' said Karimov. A return visit of UMMC will take place in August.

At the exhibition INNOPROM 2017, the Development Fund Yugra (Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug) and the engineering cluster of the Republic of Tatarstan signed a cooperation agreement involving the use of the experience of Tatarstan in creation of industrial clusters in KHMAO. In conclusion, Albert Karimov added that in August Penetron-Russia will open a local production in Kazan for the production of waterproofing materials with the capacity of 5,000 tonnes a year.

''There are plans in agriculture, and even in the supply of gold bars to the banking system. They mould gold up to 9 tonnes a year,'' said Karimov. Photo: ugmk.com

By Luiza Ignatyeva