Ulyanovsk Region Develops Partnership with Austria
On 22 September, Governor Sergey Morozov and representatives of relevant agencies presented investment potential of the region to Austrian companies.
Before that, the Governor met with Johannes Aigner, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Austria to the Russian Federation, and discussed prospects for cooperation.
Sergey Morozov said, “In recent years, the Ulyanovsk region's foreign trade turnover with the EU countries has been growing steadily. It totaled more than USD 124 million in the first half of 2020 alone. The volume of mutual investments with European partners, as well as the number of our new joint economic projects, is also increasing. We are proud of the long-term and successful relationships with partners from Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia and other countries. Our economic cooperation with Austria is still at the early stage, but I would like to mention that over the past year, our foreign trade turnover almost tripled. At the same time, trade and economic spheres are not the only ones that we would like to develop. Cultural and humanitarian cooperation is also important. I am sure that we will be able to find common ground, as well as build solid and friendly relations.”
In turn, Johannes Aigner, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Austria to the Russian Federation, thanked the head of the region that he found the opportunity to hold a meeting in these difficult times as such an event is very important for development of economic and humanitarian cooperation between the parties.
He commented, “This is not our first meeting. We had a very productive dialogue last year. We selected the most interesting areas for joint investment projects. The Ulyanovsk region offers very attractive conditions for cooperation.”
The parties discussed a number of joint projects in the cultural and humanitarian sphere such as cooperation between theatre and music groups. In particular, provisional arrangements were reached regarding the tour of the Ulyanovsk State Academic Symphonic Orchestra "Governor's" to Austria and the exchange of soloists.
The parties also discussed the possibility of Austrian colleagues joining infrastructure projects; for example, construction of modern ski resorts in Undory and Sengiley.
During the presentation, Sergey Vasin (Head of the Ulyanovsk Region Development Corporation) presented investment and economic potential of the region to the leading Austrian companies and talked about the advantages and opportunities provided to foreign partners.
He said, “First of all, we offer Austrian companies cooperation in such fields as mechanical engineering, tourism, the agro-industrial complex and processing of mineral resources. We have developed close relations with the neighboring countries in Europe; in particular, with Germany - several dozen projects of German companies are implemented in the Ulyanovsk region. We expect that this presentation will attract interest of Austrian companies to our region. We offer them sites and natural resources for implementation of their business projects. And we hope that after the restrictive measures are lifted and the economy begins to recover, Austrian companies will visit the Ulyanovsk region as part of business trips.”
Ruslan Gainetdinov, Chairman of the Board of Ulyanovsk Region Entrepreneurship Development Corporation, talked about the existing logistics channels, exported products and promising areas for cooperation.
He said, “For us, Austria is not just a single region; it is part of the European Union. It should be noted that last year alone, exports totaled more than USD 1.5 billion. The external market receives such goods as automotive and aircraft components, radiopharmaceuticals, wood, building materials, home decorations, furniture, textiles and others. Today we are moving towards creation of a distribution office; relevant agreements have already been signed with the Czech Republic and Germany, as well as in the Baltic states. We have well-developed logistics, so our operator will be able to deliver goods within two days. We also offer our logistics services connected with the transit of goods. For example, the One Belt One Road channel, which we have organized with China, helps us to reduce delivery time to the end-buyer by a week. We also invite colleagues to cooperate in environmental programmes. IT exports are important, and we are ready to provide both individual software products and integrated services.”
During the event, an agreement was reached that a business delegation from the Republic of Austria would visit the Ulyanovsk region in 2021. Representatives of the region will participate in a meeting of the Russian-Austrian Business Council, which will be held in Vienna in late October.
As a reference:
For the first half of 2020, the foreign trade turnover between the Ulyanovsk region and the Republic of Austria amounted to USD 297.8 thousand. Import made USD 297.8 thousand. The region receives products made of stone, caoutchouc and rubber, as well as electric machinery, equipment and parts for it, glass and goods made of it, nuclear reactors, boilers and their parts, leather products.
The Ulyanovsk region and the Republic of Austria implemented joint projects in the cultural and humanitarian sphere. In 2017, Austrian artists took part in the events of the 55th International Music Festival "Mir, Epoha, Imena...." ("World, Epoch, Names...."). In 2019, the Lenin Memorial hosted a concert of the Ulyanovsk State Academic Symphonic Orchestra "Governor's" called "Johann Strauss" with participation of Harald Krumpöck, a conductor-concertmaster of the Vienna orchestra "Strauss Soloists".
The Russian-Austrian Youth Forum was held in Ulyanovsk in 2019.