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Profile of Booming Russian Industrial Center, Rostov-on-Don - Putin Visits, Vows Support (TV News)

"This legendary enterprise was established almost 90 years ago, in 1929. Rosselmash now unites 13 enterprises in 4 countries." 

They build tractors and combines at half the cost of Western competitors, and control 17% of the world market, and 50% of the Russian market.

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider

President Putin visits an agricultural manufacturing plant in Rostov. The last time he visited this particular plant was ten years ago as Prime Minister.

The following clip with a transcript below shows some of the highlights of his trip. 



Half an hour ago, in the Rostov Oblast, Vladimir Putin held the Presidium of the State Council session. The Russian regions’ industry was the topic. Rostov residents have something to boast about in this area, and the President saw it personally.

Alexei Petrov will tell about the main results of his trip and statements he made during it.

This legendary enterprise was established almost 90 years ago, in 1929. Actually, Rostselmash now unites 13 enterprises in 4 countries. But, of course, its heart is in Rostov-on-Don. For example, the workshop where tractors are assembled was created only a year and a half ago. This is a training simulator of a combine harvester. Here is a model of the agrarian machine cabin. It has a screen instead of the windshield. Putin sat on the operator's place and, following the instructions of the plant's representative, "started" the virtual machine and "began harvesting."

The enterprise now produces almost 150 models of agricultural machinery. This year, the production of new items will begin. For example, this modernized combine works 15% faster and more efficiently. The machinery is shown to the head of state

Vladimir Putin:

- Is it expensive?

- It’s twice as cheap as its analogs.

Rostselmash occupies 17% of the world market and controls more than half of the market of grain harvesting equipment in Russia. But just 10 years ago, the enterprise was on the verge. In December 2008, Vladimir Putin personally visited the plant.

Vladimir Putin: "A 15% rate, not less than 120 euros for one..."

Konstantin Babkin, the plant’s board of directors chairman: "We thought that we might have had to face the need to fire many thousand people. Then Mr. President visited the plant, figured out the situation, provided support measures, and by now, we’ve been developing for many years and are confidently moving forward."

And in the summer of 2009, Putin came to Rostselmash again, which was already gradually reviving. Everyone remembers how difficult it was 10 years ago.

- We’d like to thank you for your support.

Vladimir Putin:

- It’s wasn’t possible to either drive through or come walking because everything was filled with machinery that no one was buying. We were very worried. But we made a number of decisions. Back then, I was Prime Minister, and many people criticized me for those decisions because these weren’t very liberal, not very market decisions in part, and they were related to the support of the enterprise and industry directly.

Of course, a booming enterprise has many ambitions, but plans must be realistic, as Putin said.

Vladimir Putin:

- We can plan anything, but we don’t know how executable it will be. If we can maintain the macroeconomic indicators that have been achieved by today, if all of us, including you, as the producer, get used to them, and we still have to get used to them, then we can expand the planning horizon.

- Still, we’re asking to increase funding so more markets buy our machinery.

- What’s your name?

- Victor Valentinovich.

- Viktor Valentinovich, we must take you to the meeting, so that you could once again say this to the Minister of Finance.

- Fine!

The factory now employs a lot of young people. A new generation of workers is asking Vladimir Putin what support measures they can expect.

Vladimir Putin:

- Are you married?

- No.

- I want to give you good advice. The girls here are so beautiful. This was first. Second. As soon as you get married, have a child at once and you’ll receive support on the birth of the first child. And if there is a second and third child, you’ll have a mortgage rate of not more than six percent. Because everything that is higher will be paid by the state.

A little earlier, having arrived in Rostov-on-Don, Vladimir Putin inspected the new Platov Airport. The head of state moved from Air Force One to the terminal on an ordinary apron bus. The airport construction started four years ago.

The terminal was originally designed taking into account the upcoming World Cup and FIFA requirements. There are more than 30 check-in counter, 9 boarding bridges, and the runway is much longer than the one at the old airport. In addition, the atmosphere of the south of Russia is felt inside right away. Even the stores, thanks to stylized roofs, resemble the traditional Cossack dwelling from the outside.

This virtual exposition is devoted to the history of the Don Cossacks. Designing the new terminal, the architects tried to make it as light and spacious as possible.

Dmitry Ovcharov, head of the architectural studio: "The terminal is good because it has much space and air inside, it has much light that comes from the roof. This represents the nature of the Don prairie."

The head of state is told that new airports will soon appear in other cities. There is already a project for a new complex in Saratov, it’ll be finished in 2019, there are promising airports in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Novy Urengoy. In recent years, other smaller airports were built in the country: in the Far East, on Iturup Island and in Talakan, and in the north - in Sabetta and Bovanenkovo.

But it is the Platov Airport that is the first international airport in a city with a population of over one million people which was built from scratch.

It’s now much easier and more convenient to get to the south of Russia. Sochi Airport has changed markedly. The railway was built bypassing Ukraine.

Drivers also appreciated the M4 highway after its major reconstruction. For sure, many fans will go to the World Cup through this road. The head of state inspected the sports cluster of Rostov-on-Don from a helicopter, and its core, the stadium Rostov Arena.

In addition, the President got in touch with the Rostov NPP directly from Rostselmash. There was a solemn ceremony of the 4th power unit launch.

Vladimir Putin:

- Our professionalism is recognized all over the world, and we continue building not only in our country but abroad as well. We’re constructing the nuclear energetics facilities in 12 other countries and we’ll continue this work.

- Mr. President, let me start the load increase.

- Proceed, please.

- I’m laughing the load increase in the set regime, there are no problems and deviations.
- Congratulations and thank you.

The construction of the station began in the Soviet years, but it was frozen in 1990. It was resumed only in the first presidential term of Vladimir Putin. Today, the nuclear power plant is the largest power enterprise in the south of Russia, which provides energy to the Rostov and Volgograd Oblasts, the Stavropol and Krasnodar Krais, the Crimea. All this makes it possible to develop the industry of the regions. This was topic to which the Presidium of the State Council meeting was devoted.

Until recently, domestic industry was losing markets one by one. It wasn't even a question of rivaling the western giants. Now, the picture is changing.

Vladimir Putin: "We're at Rostselmash now. Some time ago, no one really wanted to buy our equipment inside the country, but now you sell the equipment, combines and tractors, in 37 countries. If it continues this way, in five years, you’ll be selling it in at least 60 countries. 41% of employees have higher education here in Rostselmash, and many of them work in their working specialties."

Of course, businesses, especially small ones, need support, but more often than that, entrepreneurs ask for only one thing, not to be disturbed.

Vladimir Putin: "Business will develop, invest in modernization and the opening of new enterprises only where they’re agreed with, aren’t disturbed and faced with barriers, where convenient, comfortable working conditions are created for them, including the modern social sphere, which is important for enterprises’ employees and their families. I draw the attention of the heads of the regions and enterprises to the fact that the key issues of industrialists need to be addressed fast and in time."

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Another instruction of the President is to consider the funds allocated for the development of the economy as mandatory expenditures of the regions. Actually, the south of Russia, the rescue of Rostselmash, new roads and airports are a vivid example of a huge part of the country change, which we were able to witness.

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