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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ivanov Boosts Trains, Trams and Metros

Itar-TassSergei Ivanov
MYTISHCHI, Moscow Region -- First Deputy Prime Minister on Tuesday threw his weight behind Industry and Energy Ministry plans to increase the output of the country's rolling stock industry.

"In line with the ministry's strategy, which will be reviewed at a Cabinet meeting April 12, the output of rail cars and locomotives must be doubled by 2015," Ivanov said.

Addressing a conference at a train factory in the Moscow region, Ivanov supported proposals to subsidize domestic manufacturers in a bid to boost train and tram production.

"The aim is to provide a way for the industry to reach a new level of quality and to allow it to satisfy the demands of transport organizations and rail users," he said.

Noting that Russian producers are currently unable to meet domestic demand, Ivanov emphasized the importance of state support.

"In this sense, it is not a sin to talk about healthy protectionism and there is no need to be afraid of that word," he said.

Officials fear that a decrepit road network, the high cost of air travel and the underdeveloped rail infrastructure could put brakes on the country's economic growth.

Under the mantra of economic diversification, Ivanov is heading similar moves in both the aviation and shipbuilding sectors. Two weeks ago, he outlined his long-term vision for the development of transport infrastructure in the country.

Domestic manufacturers currently lag far behind foreign counterparts in technological terms, Ivanov said. Citing a joint venture between Russia's biggest train manufacturer, Transmashholding, and German technology company Siemens, Ivanov said he was keen to see further joint ventures with foreign firms.

"Maintaining control over the industry as a whole and its various segments does not mean that we have to close ourselves off from foreign investment and active cooperation with foreign partners," he said.

Ivanov also said he eventually hoped to see Russia become a major exporter, with the focus initially on the CIS.