By Irina Doronina
On June 16, 2006, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast Governor Valery Shantsev hosted an American Chamber of Commerce in Russia delegation, led by AmCham President Andrew Somers, in the Nizhny Novgorod kremlin.
After a brief overview of the region, Gov. Shantsev focused on investment issues and the measures taken to attract capital to the centrally located region with a highly skilled workforce and developed manufacturing and financial industries. Gov. Shantsev stressed that Nizhny Novgorod Oblast’s policy provides strong support for investors. For example, the government has established the Investment Council, a special structure headed by the governor, which helps reduce bureaucracy, administrative barriers and corruption for potential investors. Once the Council gives an investment project “priority” status, the project also qualifies for tax breaks and other incentives.
According to Gov. Shantsev, the economic cooperation of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast with American companies has very promising perspectives: In 2006 turnover between U.S. and Nizhny Novgorod Oblast business rose 83 percent over 2005 to approximately $80 million. Of particular interest to potential investors, Gov. Shantsev noted, should be the hi-tech sectors of information technology and communications, ecology, and energy-saving technologies.
During the meeting, each company represented by AmCham delegation members had the opportunity to present themselves and discuss their interests in the region.
Following the meeting in the kremlin, the delegation visited Lear LLC, a subsidiary of Fortune 500 U.S. company Lear Corporation. In Nizhny Novgorod, Lear LLC is producing car seats at the Gorky Automotive Plant (GAZ OJSC) facilities for Gazel and Sobol models. The company also produces interior parts for the Chevrolet Niva and Chevrolet Viva (Astra II), produced by General Motors-AvtoVAZ and has invested over $7 million into local economies.
AmCham delegate members also met with the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast Chamber of Commerce and Trade, where, after a short presentation, Trade Mission participants had the opportunity to network with representatives of Nizhny Novgorod’s business community.
AmCham expresses its thanks to Air Management Group, DEXTER, which provided its “fly by taxi” airline service between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod.