18 june 2010

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits Yaroslavl and tours new production facility owned by leading Japanese construction equipment manufacturer Komatsu


During his trip to the Yaroslavl Region, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited a new production facility owned by Komatsu, a major international company based in Japan that manufactures construction equipment. The prime minister was given a tour of the factory floor and briefed on the system for managing orders.

Komatsu executives told Mr Putin that the facility in Yaroslavl was the company's first production facility in Russia and the largest Komatsu plant in the world in terms of its area.

The prime minister spoke with the plant's employees and then climbed into the cab of one of the excavators, where he was shown how the vehicle operates.

In response to journalists' questions regarding Komatsu, Vladimir Putin said, in part:

"Komatsu began working in this country in the 1960s, back during Soviet times, and has since established a good reputation for itself. The three leading companies [that produce construction equipment] both internationally and in Russia are Hitachi, Komatsu and Caterpillar. I would like to emphasise that our Japanese partners constructed this facility in a very short period of time: a year and three months. They managed to do so during the global economic downturn, when conditions were difficult in both the Russian and Japanese economies. Nevertheless, they rose to the task and did an excellent job. The wisdom of this decision has been demonstrated by the fact that Caterpillar intends to build a similar production facility, in the town of Tosno in the Leningrad Region, as do other companies working in the Russian market.

"Moreover, we are considering increasing import customs duties for finished products while lowering those duties for component parts. Today the import duty for a finished piece of equipment, such as a caterpillar vehicle like this one, is 5%, whereas the duty rate for its components is 5% or more.

"However, we are thinking of ways to change this situation gradually and without hurting assembly plants. This should be our overall approach. This would naturally favour companies that establish themselves in the Russian market and build their own production facilities here."