On September 12, Kaluga Region’s Etnomir cultural and educational center hosted the Russian-German business forum “Kaluga Region: New Opportunities”. Government and business community representatives from both countries discussed the issues of implementation of German business projects in Russia as well as the new prospects for collaboration in trade and economy, culture and education, and innovations.
The aim of the business forum is to develop business contacts and facilitate interregional ties between Russia and Germany. In his welcome address, Wolfgang Dick, the head of the Economic Department of the German Embassy in Russia, noted that European sanctions would not affect relationships between people. “We are certain that relationships between people are more important than political decisions. We will continue to cooperate, not only in the economic sphere, but in the cultural sphere as well”.
Igor Timoshin, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, spoke about trade, economic and investment collaboration between Kaluga Region and Germany. He emphasized that Germany was the leader among international investors in Kaluga Region’s economy. According to statistical data, in 2002-2013 the amount of German investments in the regional economy was USD 1,365 million. In 2013, international investments in Kaluga Region’s economy were USD 1,329 million (including USD 272 million from Germany), with direct investments accounting for USD 671 million, of which 20.6% (or USD 138 million) was Germany’s share.
Kaluga Region has about 10 registered Russian-German joint ventures of different ownership type, including the rock-crushing plant Drobilno-Sortirovochny Zavod LLC in Dzerzhinsk District (rock stone extraction and crushing), Elektroschit-Co LLC in Babynino (manufacturer of electronic equipment), and Vezemann LLC in Kaluga (construction and assembly works).
The region is also a host to several large-scale German investment projects. Cooperation is closest in the automotive cluster, which includes 9 Germany enterprises. Overall, Kaluga Region’s automotive cluster includes 30 companies, including 3 OEM-manufacturers and 27 manufacturers of automotive components.
Big-name German companies are also implementing projects in the pharmaceutical industry, construction in agriculture.
The second half of the day will be dedicated to the official stone-laying ceremony for the German ethnic estate at Etnomir. The momentous event will be attended by representatives of Russian federal and regional authorities, members of the Russian-German Chamber of Foreign Trade, Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and Kaluga Region, representatives of Russian-German non-governmental organizations, scientific and cultural institutions, honorable guests from Germany and Russia.