World Economy

Moscow Tech Park Attracting Western Firms

Moscow Tech Park Attracting Western FirmsMoscow Tech Park Attracting Western Firms

Russian authorities are describing the country’s economic downturn and western sanctions against it as opportunities to reduce its reliance on energy exports by developing domestic, innovative industries.

To spur the growth of high-tech industries, one technology park developed by Moscow city authorities is attracting western companies that have their eyes on the Russian market, VoA reported.

The Moscow city government converted a defunct, Soviet-era car factory into Technopolis, a technology park attracting many high-tech companies that want to get a foothold in the Russian market.

Technopolis CEO Igor Ischenko said foreign companies are lining up to invest. “That’s not, to be honest, not only because we are the best.  We’re only one, maybe lonely one, in this kind of scale, in this kind of greatness, I would say; but, I strongly believe that this is only the start point for development of new solution in terms of technical zone, special economical zone, to be prepared to welcome high technology,” said Ischenko.

Ischenko said the number of occupants this year will reach 50 companies, nearly double what it is now, but about half of what was originally expected.

Western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine have caused some companies to back off investments and joint ventures.

Elina Belevskaya is head of public relations for Holding Company Composite (HCC), a state-owned firm producing advanced materials like carbon fiber.

“When we were in talks with Dow Chemical and Dow Aksa we counted on opening doors to access the world auto industry and, more concretely, the U.S Ford Motor company, as our company is still rather new and we cannot do it on our own.  In Russia, it is not that easy to be heard by the auto giants.  The weight of Dow Chemical would have allowed us to offer our production in the U.S market; but, it was impossible to do as our cooperation was frozen,” said Belevskaya.