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Russia's Far East in sight for $131 million auto industry investment

September 25, 2014, 15:28 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK
A special economic zone in the port city of Vladivostok has been designated as the site of an initial $131 million, three-year engine production investment program
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Sergey Ivanov (L) visiting carmaking factory Mazda Sollers Manufacturing Rus during his trip to Russia's Far East

Sergey Ivanov (L) visiting carmaking factory Mazda Sollers Manufacturing Rus during his trip to Russia's Far East

© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Druzhinin

VLADIVOSTOK, September 25. /ITAR-TASS/. A new geographical centre is being planned to develop a motor manufacturing industry complex in Russia's Far East, the government announced on Thursday.

A special economic zone in the port city of Vladivostok has been designated as the site of an initial $131 million, three-year engine production investment program aiming to attract direct foreign investments by leading world players across the industry.

The pioneering project was unveiled by the head of Russia's Presidential Administration, Sergei Ivanov, flagging it as a bold, groundbreaking initiative for the nation.

“This will allow us first to embrace state-of-the-art technology and second, these engines will be used not just for Russian cars but also for export,” Ivanov said.

The focus on developing Asia-Pacific activity had been fuelled by Western sanctions on Russia over events in Ukraine, and because the regional economy was growing fast. "We hope for investment, not only our own," he added.

Sights on the future also eyed demand among locals for second-hand cars brought in mainly from Japan, Ivanov said, while dismissing rumours of an import ban.

But plans lay ahead to develop local manufacture of quality, affordable cars which would see future demand wane, he said. "The more of these we produce, fewer used right-hand-drive Japanese cars will be bought by Russians in the long run," Ivanov added.

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