Rolls Royce gears up for Titanium Valley

With Vladimir Putin to sign a decree next week creating a vast technology hub in the Urals, around the world’s top titanium supplier, VSMPO-Avisma, Business RT spoke with Michael Shipster, International Director at Rolls Royce.

­Rolls Royce engines says it’s gearing up to become a founder member of Russia’s Titanium Valley hammering out a deal with top officials for the new Special Economic Zone, which will enjoy tax breaks and customs-free trade.

MS: "Titanium valley initiative Skolkovo…Yesterday I had meetings with the Ministry of Economic Development and they are setting up special zones. If the numbers look right and we’ll like the partners and we are able to work closely together there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t be very very involved." 

RT: If the research and development operation is successful will Rolls Royce shift production here as well?

MS: "What we haven’t been doing in Russia is manufacturing, engineering, supply chain and research and development and that is the area that I think we are interested in exploring in a development of new technologies for gas turbines new forms of engines. I mean we haven’t had that many major technological shifts in the airspace industry, you know, only hundred or so years that we have been flying. The world is ready for some new development."

RT: Russia’s leader Dmitry Medvedev says fighting corruption his number one priority. Have you received any assurances that you will be spared red taped if you for example enter Titanium valley?

MS: “We know that there is a commitment to changing business practices in Russia and we welcome that and we can already see some of the practical effects of that there are some very dynamic private sector entrepreneurs who are aware because they operate all over the world, who are aware how Russia compares with other industrial centres.”