KnAAPO, the Aircraft Production Association of Komsomolsk-upon-Amur, based in the territory of Khabarovsk region, is one of the largest aircraft manufacturers. Today, KnAAPO is counted among those few relatively prosperous manufacturers in the Russian aerospace industry that work steadily, have a vast backlog of orders and good prospects for the future. This achievement is on the account of foreign orders. In the past few years the enterprise won a title of the best Russian exporter. In 1999 it was named Russia’s best company. Steady work of the huge aircraft manufacturer is not only of a high importance in terms of Russia’s prestige on the international weapons market (where KnAAPO works actively, trying to expand its customer network, especially in the regions of economical growth) but also for improving social and economical situation in the city of Komsomolsk-upon-Amur and the whole of Khabarovsk region. Vyatcheslav Shport, who holds a PhD in technical sciences, and who until recently acted KnAAPO technical director, is now a member in the State Duma, deputy chairman of the committee for industry, construction and scientific technologies of the Russian Parliament. He shared with us his viewpoint on the theme.

Up until recently KnAAPO has been the only steadily working enterprise in Khabarovsk region. Let put aside the issue of importance of KnAAPO steadily work for the national defense – this matter is clear to everybody without my comments. The unique status of KnAAPO is that it is the enterprise whose industrial activities determine all aspects of life for the 300-thousand city where it situates. The company is the major tax-payer contributing a lot into the local budget. It will not be an overestimate to say that these payments allow to keep the city’s infrastructure properly functioning. During 1999 KnAAPO contributed over Rbs 341 million into the city budget. Further Rbs 223 million was paid into the regional budget and Rbs 151 million into the federal budget. These figures speak for themselves. KnAAPO today is a modern production facility making use of advanced manufacturing technologies. It is an attractive business for investors, foreign investors in particular. Our enterprise is not merely a steadily-working production facility with the immense contribution into the state budget, it is also a business card of the whole Khabarovsk region, a diamond in the crown, so to speak. It is alos a symbol of the region’s attractiveness for investors. Whatever the reason for Khabarovsk region to participate in an international show, it is always the fact of life that a KnAAPO representative or even a team is included in the Khabarovsk regional delegation. A high intensity of activities that Kransnoyarsk region has been maintaining in the Pacific Asia is an indicator of its intent to strengthen its positions on this promising market. In that sense KnAAPO plays a role of the regional locomotive. That is, especially in the view of the product range the enterprise can offer on the international market. On the other hand, civilian aircraft projects undoubtedly carry a bit of attractiveness as investment programs. The Beriev Be-103 amphibian and the Sukhoi S-80 passenger/cargo turboprop airplanes have a large sales potential on the international market. Separately, the company has launched production of various motor boats in different classes for a variety of applications. It is a new direction in our activities and, we believe, it should also be attractive to investors. In that sense KnAAPO investment attractiveness is that of the whole region’s industry because the large majority of the regional industrial enterprises are members in the Russian military industrial complex featuring extensive use of high technologies. A special attention is drawn to a program on establishing so-called “Techecopolice”, a powerful integrated union of scientific and industrial enterprises based in Kmosomolsk-upon-Amur and adjacent territories. Here, in the northern part of Khabarovsk region, there lays a powerful industrial potential on which base it is possible to materialize promising investment projects. KnAAPO can (and it will) play a key role in these projects, taking account of the vast experience in the modern management and work with foreign partners. Materialization of this program will give a possibility to use the existing scientific-industrial potential to the full and to solve social problems such as employment (KnAAPO has some experience in this sphere as well). The international market recognized a long ago the highest quality of KnAAPO products. This fact gives us a hope that we will continue to be treated as serious business partners. In that sense KnAAPO success is that of the whole Khabarovsk region. I think that it is, to some extent, erroneous to speak about KnAAPO integration into the economics of the Khabarovsk region. Such integration took place yesterday. Today this integration develops in-depth, exploiting new ways of materialization. We can imagine that in the future the enterprises like KnAAPO will provide a base for creation of powerful territorial industrial centers oriented on the global market. Those would possess a whole spectrum of what is needed to be independent players on that market — advanced technologies, modern management, properly trained and qualified personnel. Deep and all-aspect integration of the industrial giants into the economics of the regions on whose territories they situate, their merging, is the real way to solving many social and economic problems.