EXPOFORUM Discusses Prospects for Civil Shipbuilding for the Arctic
On 10 April, the business programme of the International Arctic Forum included a discussion on the trends in interregional cooperation between St. Petersburg and regions of the Russian Arctic. The business breakfast participants discussed the significance of small-scale civil shipbuilding in St. Petersburg for the needs of the Arctic regions.
The Head of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov said that each of Russia’s Arctic regions has extensive experience, and in order to achieve success, their experience and efforts will need to be combined. This pertains to HR training, creating the necessary infrastructure and attracting investments.
“This is a very important topic for our city. 30% of all shipbuilding in Russia takes place in St. Petersburg, and 80% of all research is done in St. Petersburg as well. Three nuclear-powered icebreakers of the Arctic class are being built at Baltiysky Zavod Shipyard, and a unique drifting research station is being created at Admiralty Shipyards. The Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping has launched the Centre of Arctic Maritime Expertise, which provides pre-service and in-service training for staff on nuclear-powered icebreakers. The Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute is developing a number of areas related to developing the Arctic. St. Petersburg does have things to show. I am confident that we too will take a very active part in the programme of developing the Arctic. This is very advantageous for us, because this helps create new jobs, get state orders and contribute money to the budget”, Alexander Beglov said.
The business event was attended by the heads of Russia’s Arctic regions: Komi Republic, Murmansk Region, Chukotka Autonomous Region, the Republic of Sakha, Arkhangelsk Region, the Republic of Karelia, Krasnoyarsk Krai and Nenets Autonomous District. Also in attendance were representatives from various St. Petersburg-based shipbuilding enterprises – the United Shipbuilding Corporation, Baltic Shipyard and Middle Neva Shipbuilding Plant.
Sergey Voronkov, CEO of ExpoForum International, talked to the participants of the business breakfast about the potential of his company's own projects, which potentially could be of interest to regions of the Russian Arctic. EXPOFORUM and Lenexpo annually hold around 8 industry events that are in that or other way related to problems of development in the Arctic Region. One such event – the world’s largest industry exhibition – NEVA International Exhibition and Conference on Civil Shipbuilding, Shipping, Port Activities and the Development of the Ocean and Shelf – is dedicated to advancing one of the most significant sectors for the development of the Arctic – shipbuilding.
“The Arctic regions are in need of investments; a transportation infrastructure must be created, and a strategic programme for the region needs to be introduced. The regions must also offer a systematic approach to realising their tourist capabilities. For example, hovercraft, airboats and WIG craft can fill this niche”, Sergey Voronkov said. “This year, the Neva-2019 exhibition will be the first to organise the Small and Light Shipbuilding Centre with the support of the Russian Export Centre. The REC reimburses up to 80% of the expenses incurred by small and medium-sized enterprises, and such support is quite significant for regional companies”.