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Footwear manufacturer complained about difficulties with import substitution


Even at laces level

Specific structure of the Russian economy impedes import substitution. This was the subject presented by Alexey Mezentsev, Head of Key Customer Service Department of Technoavia (protective footwear), on Thursday at the International Forum on Industrial Safety, BNA reports.

According to him, the main difficulties are primarily caused by products that must meet strict requirements. For instance, chrome-tanned leather, enhanced waterproof leather, high-quality laces and footwear accessories are not produced in Russia. None of the Russian manufactures has passed the salt spray test that reveals corrosion resistance of footwear elements.

«Unfortunately, for these materials we have to cooperate with foreign vendors», Mezentsev said.

He also complained that domestic manufacturers of low-quality components and textile are not willing to invest in expansion of their production towards high-quality products. «It’s a fact», the manager admitted.

At the same time, he pointed out that import substitution works much better with the lower quality goods. For example, in 2015 the company used 60% of import components. Two years later, this indicator dropped to 19%.

The import substitution policy in Russia was established in 2014 after a package of economic sanctions had been imposed on the country following the annexation of the Crimea and later exacerbation of the situation in the east of Ukraine. In August, the Russian government adopted reciprocal food sanctions. The end of the year was marked with the ruble devaluation which stimulated substitution of imported components for domestic ones.

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

«Forums like this actually help to improve industrial safety. One of the advantages of this forum is that people can share experience, i.e. about the accident that happened in Bhopal, or accidents happening in Moldova, Ukraine, etc. People learn lessons got after such accidents, and create new rules, regulations and best practices in order to prevent them. Its very important to learn the best practices of other countries and organizations, and implement them in your own country, in your own organization, it is very important. I think, today people pay enough attention to the problems of industrial safety. In fact people are now becoming aware of the disasters and safety operations. Like air and water we breathe and use, safety has become very important.»

Madhukar Onharnath Garg

Madhukar Onharnath Garg, Director CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (India)