Finland’s ambassador about meeting with TAIF: ''We offered industrial waste treatment solutions''

A delegation of 34 Finnish companies presented its services to TAIF Group of Companies

During Finnish Business Goes Kazan 2018 business forum, a Finnish delegation headed by Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Finland to Russia Mikko Hautala met with officials of TAIF JSC. The Finnish businesspeople presented advanced technologies in industrial waste treatment, told about construction projects in Kazan and offered equipment for operating factories of TAIF GC. Realnoe Vremya tells the details.

Finland invests in Russia's economy more than other EU countries

The biggest annual event for Finnish-Russian business Finnish Business took place in Kazan in the middle of October. The forum was founded in 2011. Previous meetings were in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg. This year, a delegation of 40 Finnish entrepreneurs headed by headed by Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Finland to Russia Mikko Hautala arrived in Kazan. During the business forum, the businesspeople visited the head office of TAIF JSC.

Welcoming the officials of TAIF JSC, Mikko Hautala told he had been working as an ambassador for two years already, earlier he had been an adviser on foreign politics.

Mikko Hautala has been working as an ambassador for two years already

''The Republic of Tatarstan is familiar to us. We appreciate orientation to the future, aspiration for development. I said at the opening of the forum that Finland and Tatarstan were created for each other because we have common goals. Over 900 Finnish companies work in Russia. Even if Finland is a small country, our investments in the Russian market total over €12bn. It's more than other EU countries invest in your business,'' the ambassador claimed.

During the meeting, the Finnish entrepreneurs were told about the business of TAIF Group of Companies. It was said the strategic development programme of TAIF GC was created until 2030 in detail, it's evaluated at about $30bn. Enterprises of TAIF Group of Companies produce almost a half of Russian polymers. Petrochemicals are exported to over 100 countries including such places as Australia and South America.

TAIF GC can be interesting for Finnish enterprises as a supplier of the whole range of chemical and petrochemical products

''We are ready to tell you about any product we make. Things a person needs in daily life can be manufactured from it: components for cars, equipment, they can be used in construction, tyre production. Polyurethanes are the only thing we don't make at the moment. If you have a desire to work with us in this sphere, we're ready for cooperation,'' Albert Shigabutdinov claimed.

TAIF GC can be interesting for Finnish enterprises as a supplier of the whole range of chemical and petrochemical products, including diesel fuel, benzene. ''We're ready for close cooperation. The main condition is that our cooperation must be mutually beneficial,'' the TAIF JSC director general noted.

Solution of logistical problems on 'new silk way'

The Finnish delegation offered TAIF to develop cooperation in bioenergy – conversion of biomass to energy. According to Karen Grigoryan, director of Investment in Finland in Russia from Business Finland agency, Finland actively develops bioenergy, while TAIF enterprises can be interested in a new technology. ''Chinese companies create a technology to generate bioenergy in Finland. They have their own research projects in this sphere, create collaborations to get the technology and promisingly develop it on their own territory,'' Karen Grigoryan told.

Director of Investment in Finland in Russia from Business Finland agency Karen Grigoryan told about logistical opportunities in Finland

In case TAIF is interested in the Finnish market, Karen Grigoryan promised to help in solving logistical problems. He noted that the ''new silk way'' became a reality: a train from the Finnish city of Kouvola goes to China. The new route opens new opportunities for Northern European countries and Russia.

Albert Shigabutdinov, in turn, said a powerful logistical centre was being built in Tatarstan, near Sviyazhsk, which would also become a part of the ''new silk way''. The project is to favour the development of Europe – Western China transport corridor and allow to unite transport and logistical systems and production sites of the republic.

During the meeting, the guests invited the officials of TAIF JSC to visit Finland in December together with Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov's delegation who will go to the northern country to take part in Slush world's leading start-up event. During this visit, TAIF could acquaint with enterprises of Finland, which can help to increase the share of the presence of the company in the Finnish market.

Latest industrial waste treatment technologies presented to TAIF

Construction can become a sphere for the cooperation of TAIF and Finland. The TAIF JSC officials were presented YIT construction concern from Finland. The company has been operating in housing development in Kazan for 15 years, TAIF GC has been familiar with its projects for long. Albert Shigabutdinov offered the officials of YIT to take part in Small Italy project. It should be reminded the residential complex will be located not far from the Republican Clinical Hospital. It's planned to include blocks of flats, a school, office blocks, a hotel and a shopping mall.

Contacts for cooperation with Finnish companies were made at the meeting

''The Tatarstan president, mayor of Kazan, Italian partners support the project. We're ready to support the construction as much as possible. We also offer to consider participation in the construction of a recreational centre for 2,000 people. We're interested in the application of wooden materials in the construction of buildings,'' the TAIF JSC director general told.

Contacts for cooperation with Finnish companies were exchanges at the meeting. The TAIF managers asked how Finland cared about ecology. Felix Fondem representing Global EcoProcess told about innovative technologies in industrial waste treatment. Global EcoProcess's method deposits dissolved metals turning them into inert and insoluble ecologically friendly sediment. Then it can be used as feedstock to produce and refine precious metals.

Deputy Director at Global EcoProcess Felix Fondem told about innovative technologies in the industrial waste treatment

Albert Shigabutdinov offered Global EcoProcess to visit production sites of TAIF GC to exchange experience. ''If you can improve our technologies, we're ready for long-term cooperation. We constantly oversee sewage treatment,'' the TAIF JSC director general assured.

Antti Eriksson, deputy director general of Kierto, presented environment protective services or, more precisely, chemical waste treatment ways. His company uses all types of industrial wastes, sells treatment know-how. Antti Eriksson's offer interested the officials of the TAIF GC. TAIF petrochemical enterprises annually use about 20m hydrocarbon resources. Moreover, more than 130m cubic metres of water is used in production processes. ''Water goes through our technological chain. It's constantly treated. We're interested in know-how in this sphere, we're ready to buy and use it,'' Albert Shigabutdinov claimed.

ISKU furniture concern's Director in Russia Natalia Salonen offered to apply interior solutions to control rooms in TAIF GC enterprises. ISKU mainly manufactures school, office, home furniture. However, there are several projects fulfilled in industrial enterprises: the company equipped management centres for Gazprom control rooms. Albert Shigabutdinov offered to visit TAIF enterprises' control rooms and offer options of their equipment. He also advised ISKU and all other companies of the Finnish delegation to lay out their products on OnlineContract e-trade site.

The director general of TAIF JSC expressed his hope for further successful cooperation with Finland

Finishing the meeting with the Finnish entrepreneurs, the director general of TAIF JSC expressed his hope for further successful cooperation. ''The latest ecological technologies aren't just words but a life position. When our company was created, the first task was to stop the collapse in enterprises, which included all areas. Then we needed to get the positions our companies had before the dissolution of the Soviet Union back – we also accomplished this task. Later our task was to install modern technologies in our factories – this goal was achieved. Now we plan to choose a future development strategy. The meeting with you inspires hope we're on the right path and we will have mutually beneficial cooperation in this area,'' Albert Shigabutdinov claimed.

''The potential of cooperation of Finland and Tatarstan hasn't been fulfilled completely at the moment''

Mikko Hautala told about the results of the meeting with the officials of TAIF Group of Companies in an interview with journalists.

''The potential of cooperation of Finland and Tatarstan hasn't been fulfilled completely at the moment,'' the ambassador claimed

You said Finland and Tatarstan were in fact made for each other, despite the long distance, it's such a close region. How well do you think the potential of cooperation between Finland and Tatarstan fulfilled?

The potential of cooperation of Finland and Tatarstan hasn't been fulfilled completely at the moment, though Finnish entrepreneurs are familiar with the region. Our companies work mainly in Saint Petersburg, Leningrad Oblast, Moscow. We haven't discovered the rest of Russia yet. Our delegation includes over 40 companies. I'm very glad they're expressing great interest in the Republic of Tatarstan.

How interesting is the cooperation with TAIF GC for Finnish companies?

I have an impression that there is interest in such a giant company as TAIF, without doubt. Our companies have offered services, world technologies. I think they will speak the same language to make mutually beneficial decisions. We will work with TAIF, I hope we get as many real contracts and agreements as possible.

What spheres can the cooperation with TAIF lead to specific projects in?

We offered ecological waste treatment solutions because our companies have the latest technologies in this sphere. Big enterprises always need know-how in this sphere. Among our companies, there were organisations dealing with logistics, construction, equipment of control rooms.

You've participated in the business forum in Kazan for the second time. What agreement have you reached after the first forum with your participation?

There was reached certain agreement in different areas, many companies have started working in the market more actively. They need to evaluate certain results themselves. But the arrival of more than 40 enterprises, which is almost twice more than in 2017, symbolises the interest of Finland in Tatarstan.

By Yekaterina Gumarova. Photo: Maksim Platonov

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According to the Finland's customs service, commodity turnover between Russia and Finland increased by 29,9% in 2017 compared to 2016 and totalled US $13,122,3m. During this period, Russia commodity export grew by 36,2% and reached US $9,264,7m. The volume of Russian export from Finland also increased by 17% and made up US $3,857,6m. In 2017, Russia had positive balance in external trade with Finland at US $5,407,1.

Russia was third with the commodity turnover volume of 9,6%, while Germany with 14,9% was first, Sweden with 10,7% was second.

Fuel and energy accounted for 61,7% in commodity export's structure of Russia to Finland in 2017 (including 50,6% of oil and oil products, 6,4% of natural gas, 3% of hard coal and coke, 1,7% of electric energy). There is a reduction in exported products of the Fuel and Energy Complex in comparison with the analogous period last year.

Cast iron and steel is 12% in export, chemical products and goods total 7,9%, ore and scrap metal – 7,4%, raw wood – 4,2%, non-ferrous metal – 1,7%, cars, equipment and vehicles – 1,3%.