Mikhail Voevodin, VSMPO-AVISMA - ВСМПО-АВИСМА
Release Date: 2011-01-21Titanium Valley – the new special economic zone that the Russian government is creating in the city of Verkhnaya Salda (Sverdlovsk region, Urals) – very rapidly became a hot topic during the last months of 2010. Larisa Karaseva, head of VSMPO-AVISMA’s press service, asked Mikhail Voevodin, CEO of VSMPO-AVISMA, to give his comments on the yet mysterious Valley that will soon appear near VSMPO-AVISMA’s facilities.
Mr. Voevodin, what stands behind the concept of the Titanium Valley?
Titanium Valley project has been approved on paper and is waiting to be made reality. Moreover, now is the time when I can confidently say that this is no longer a dream: this is the reality. When my colleagues called to congratulate me for the signed state decree on creation of the Titanium Valley, I told them it’s like a baby born: first there are the 9 months of pregnancy and then you have 18 years of full responsibility for your child. Coming back to our case, I mean that the mentioned state decree is not the final point – it’s the starting point for VSMPO-AVISMA, for the city authorities, for the regional authorities, for our partners and the federal authorities. Titanium Valley is, in a way, our light in the end of the tunnel and the future for the entire Verkhnaya Salda and not just VSMPO-AVISMA.
The local enterprises have been very positive about the news. Will they be able to enjoy a resident status in the Valley?
Technically, they can, but hardly so on practice. One of the limits that might impede our neighbors get a residency in the special economic zone is the requirement to produce for export.
Will VSMPO-AVISMA play the first violin in the Valley?
No, VSMPO-AVISMA will not even be there and won’t get any fiscal or monetary preferences for the residents of the Valley. These preferences are necessary to attract partners for joint ventures. Another bonus are new working places in Verkhnaya Salda. The third bonus is more money in taxes and investments for the city. Besides, if we build a few new companies in the Valley, the general income level in the city will increase boosting massive development of SMEs that today are not present in Verkhnaya Salda.
Talking about the joint ventures – can we draw a parallel with Ural-Boeing?
Ural Boeing Manufacturing is one of the exemplary types of joint ventures for us in the Titanium Valley. We have a few ideas approved by our partners for creation of joint ventures. In Q1 of 2011, President of Boeing-Civil Aircraft will make an important visit to Verkhnaya Salda with a few Boeing’s subcontractors who use our titanium. The theme of the visit is to attract them to the Titanium Valley. I hope that Q1-Q2 of 2011 will see signing of about 10 agreements with clearly defined investments, clear physical characteristics such as the size of the buildings, the list of offices and facilities that will be located there. However, we have to understand that Titanium Valley is a slow project. I think that the first residents will be able to come there by the end of 2012.
Are you also planning to set up a management company there?
Yes, there will be a management company reporting directly to the regional authorities.
With so much work to do for the Titanium Valley - aren’t you afraid of regretting that your life was easy until you made it busy?
You feel tempted to think so about many projects but if you make it your attitude to all the changes in life, nothing will move. Yes, we’ll have to work a lot, but the game is worth it.
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