AEB Event: Localisation of Production in St. Petersburg – Challenges & Opportunities
On 12 April, the Association of European Businesses held a roundtable event on Localisation of Production in St. Petersburg – Challenges & Opportunities at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) SPb, Novoorlovskaia.
Andreas Bitzi, Chairman of the AEB in the Northwest and managing director at quality partners, held the opening words, with and introduction into the reasons for import substitution and latest trends, pointing at some difficulties foreign investors are facing when investing in Russia, such as interpretation of the localisation requirements according to the government decree 719 by the responsible chambers of industry & trade, finding reliable suppliers, finding qualified personnel and the overall unstable environment.
The hosts SEZ SPb, represented by Tamara Rondaleva, General Director, presented the SEZ and its opportunities for investors. This was followed by information on opportunities to finance with the Industrial Development Fund of St. Petersburg, represented by Rada Soloviova, key questions concerning localisation of a production by DLA Piper’s Wilhelmina Shavshina, and some basics to get products certified as made in Russia, by Beiten Burkhardt’s Anna Afanasieva.
Finally, the participants got insight into the practice of investors’ experience in St. Petersburg and Leningrad Area, with presentations by Leonid Sapoval, General Director of Novartis Neva (first and biggest investor at the SEZ St. Petersburg), Irina Afanasenko, Specialist at Nissan Manufacturing, and Dr. Alexander Lebedev, Chief Technical Officer at Siemens Gas Turbines. The audience was told about the challenges to find reliable suppliers and the measures that are taken to find and support potential suppliers, difficulties due project management issues and the efforts of increasing the local value added while being a part of a global supply chain.
Finally, there was a short bus tour of the SEZ.
The Association of European Business would like to thank the SEZ SPb for hosting the event, to all the speakers for their contributions and the audience for active participation in the discussion parts.