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Expert: We need to find balance between industrial safety and import substitution


"A double-edged sword"

Russia needs to find balance between import substitution and industrial safety concerns. This was a point of view of Alexander Moskalenko, President of GCE Group, which he expressed during the XVI International Forum on Industrial Safety, BNA reports.

“Opinions were expressed during the Forum that if industrial safety is the main focus, than import substitution should be put aside. On the other hand, if there are more sanctions imposed, we can lose in safety. It is a double-edged sword”, Moskalenko noted.

Earlier a representative of Technoavia company, a working wear manufacturer, complained about challenges caused by import substitution. According to him, it is very difficult to find quality accessories for footwear and even laces in Russia. However, it is true only for premium products. Cheaper and simple footwear ranges are supplied with domestic components by 81%.

Import substitution was made a national priority in summer 2014, after the first two waves of sanctions had been imposed on Russia by the EU and the USA. Increasing the share of local production is one of the key objectives set for the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The International Forum on Industrial Safety is held in St. Petersburg every year. In 2018, it is the 16th time. This year the Forum venue is Hilton Hotel St. Petersburg Expoforum. The conference was attended by more than 170 people from different states. The organizer is GCE Group.

Source: Business News Agency

Forum participant’s opinion

«The XI International Forum on Industrial Safety is an important summit, because this is a possibility to discuss industrial safety issues with some of the major stakeholders, namely industry and authorities. The UNECE regards such events as a possibility to reinforce the implementation of the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents. Events such as the XI International Forum on Industrial Safety allow us to come to common understanding and to contribute to higher level of protection of human health and environment.

It is very encouraging that representatives of many countries are gathered here to discuss the issue of industrial safety. It is hard to transfer experience, but since the majority of experts here have similar backgrounds, sources of expertise and regulations that would allow them to increase their capacity in the area of industrial safety.

It is important to involve all relevant stakeholders in the implementation of the UNECE Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents - authorities on local, regional and national level, industry, general public and NGOs, but also international organizations. The UNECE is also cooperating on international level with other UN bodies in order to tackle most effectively the issue of transboundary accidents. Industrial safety is the key to high level of protection for human health and environment, and it is very important not only to be able to react adequately to the occurrence of major accidents, but also to do the utmost to prevent and prepare for them.

That is why we regard the XI International Forum on Industrial Safety and similar international summits as meaningful events. Attention of the international community towards industrial safety is increasing, as the popularity of such summits do, and governments all around the UNECE region are paying more attention to industrial and accident safety.»

Nikolay Savov

Nikolay Savov, Manager of the Assistance Programme The UNECE Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents (Bulgaria)