Italian know-how in partnership with Russian industrial capacity will help both countries achieve economic goals
By Federico Piazza
The Italian ambassador in Moscow, Pasquale Terracciano, discusses the current opportunities on the Russian market.
Moscow’s policies facilitate international industrial investments in Special Economic Zones, with the aim of intensifying industrial production through a strategy of growing Import Substitution Industrialization in various sectors. This means that Italian companies interested in this market need to develop ‘Made with Italy in Russia’.
How are relations between Italy and Russia?
There are excellent prospects for development, as soon as we leave this crisis behind. The two countries’ economic systems are complementary and Russian companies appreciate Italian know-how. The Italian business system has a unique flexibility on its side, which is necessary to continue to seize upcoming future opportunities, adapting to the economic needs and objectives that Russia has planned for the next few years.
What are the top Italian exports to Russia?
Over 40% of Italian exports are concentrated in the technology and machine industry sectors. But, we’re also operating in other sectors such as fashion, housewares, agri-food and wines. Furthermore, we also aim to consolidate market share in the chemical, pharmaceutical, medical, audiovisual, construction, publishing, nautical and automotive sectors.
Where are there more opportunities?
In the coming years, the sectors which offer major opportunities for cooperation between Russian and Italian companies, are certainly energy, in particular renewables. And then there are also infrastructure, healthcare, pharmaceutical and agro-industrial services. I would like to point out that, In the renewable energy sector in particular, awareness that sustainable industrial development cannot neglect environmental protection is gaining ground in Russia. So, there is a lot of opportunity for Italian companies at the forefront of ‘clean’ technologies. An example would be the contract recently signed between Danieli and the Russian OMK group for the construction of one of the first green steel plants.
What are the prospects in the steel industry?
The Russian government is committed to a relaunch strategy for the sector through 2030. Russia is the world’s fifth largest steel producer (after China, India, Japan, and the USA), the third largest producer of steel tubing, and the third largest exporter of metal products. Italy plays a significant role in Russian metallurgy. Our exports to Russia from January to November 2020 exceeded 466 million euros: despite a decline of 2.6%, we are the sixth global supplier in various areas of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
There are still few Italian-Russian joint ventures compared to, for example, German-Russian ones. How can industrial partnerships be developed?
To date, Italian companies have almost a hundred production plants in Russia. There is ample room for expansion, because the Russians genuinely appreciate Italian technological expertise. In recent years, Russia has launched a broad-ranging production system modernization program, replacing imports with national production, in which our companies have the opportunity to become partners. The time has come to implement a strong push for Made with Italy in Russia.