Russia - Germany

The history of economic cooperation between Voronezh and Germany goes as far back as to the 19th century. At the time, German capital investments were used here to carry out promising geological explorations, to create modern enterprises in the machine-building and mining industries.


German geological surveying crews discovered a deposit of fire clay in the area, and up until the Socialist Revolution the German company Vakhter & Co. was manufacturing fireclay bricks at its plant, which, due to its traditionally high German quality, was in high demand with regional consumers and was exported to Germany.


German companies also owned stakes in the capital of the largest Voronezh plant of the early 20th century – Stolle and Co. – which was manufacturing extremely technologically intensive goods for the period: heavy-oil engines, hydraulic oil presses, pumps, roll mills, thrashing machines and other agricultural equipment, as well as equipment for electric theaters.


Even now Voronezh is still oriented on expansion of its cooperation with Germany, as the country’s experience in uniform development of its industry and agriculture continues promoting the development of the regional economy.


Voronezh Region, which has always been characterized by high level of higher education training, maintains continuous scientific and educational bonds with Germany. In 1999 in Berlin the Association of German Alumni and Friends of the Voronezh State University (DAWY) was founded. The Association successfully cooperates with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the West-East Meetings Foundation. Joint development of important scientific trends and student exchange form the basis for evolvement of partnership with the business community of the Federal Republic of Germany. A successful example of such cooperation is training of specialists for Siemens at the training center based at the regional university.


Siemens acts as the motive power for investment relations of our region and Germany. Investment in the project “High-Voltage Circuit Breakers” amounted to about 200,000,000 Russian Rubles; the next step for expansion of the presence in the region will be opening a transformer manufacturing plant with the estimated investment amount of 60,000,000 euros. The manufacturing cluster being created will play an important role in the global network of Siemens’ power division.


In the agricultural sector an important role for disclosing the region’s potential for German agricultural producers has been played by the successful implementation of a project by EkoNiva Company. The enterprise includes 17 cattle-breeding divisions, including 2 high-tech dairy complexes. Construction of two more dairy complexes is underway. The company’s President, Mr. Stefan Duerr, was one of the first German investors who started working in the region’s agricultural sector. Moreover, Mr. Stefan Duerr acts as the official coordinator for cooperation in the agricultural sector between the Ministry of Consumer Protection, Foodstuffs, and Agriculture of Germany, the German Bundestag, and agricultural committees of the State Duma and the Counil of Federation.


Agroimport Company and the German enterprise TonniesFleisch have launched a sub-project Agro-Ostrogozhsk LLC. Construction of the first cattle-breeding complex of Agro-Ostrogozhsk LLC will commence in October; it will mainly be oriented at swine breeding. All in all, within the framework of the project’s implementation, construction of 10 swine-breeding complexes intended for 2500 breeding sows each will be carried out. The project also involves erection of a large feed-milling plant with the capacity over 220,000 tons per annum and a grain storage facility with the capacity 156,000 tons. The final part of the project will be construction of the largest complex for advanced processing of pork in the Central Black Earth Region.


In order to expand the two-way connections, the delegation of representatives from Voronezh Region headed by the Governor Alexei Gordeev visited Munich on July 13-13, 2011 at the invitation of the Ministry of Consumer Protection, Foodstuffs, and Agriculture of Germany. During the visit delegation members entered in a number of agreements and memoranda of cooperation for the purpose of joint implementation of investment projects. In particular, Izodom Company (Voronezh) is to carry out a joint project for construction of a syringe-making plant together with German enterprises Textima and Transcoject. In order to promote such cooperation, preliminary agreement has been reached to hold a large-scale joint business forum. 


An important result of the visit of Voronezh Region delegation is an initiative launched by the Minister-President of Bavaria, Mr. Horst Seehofer, aimed at entering into an agreement for strategic partnership of the State of Bavaria and Voronezh Region. Thus, Voronezh Region will become the third subject of the Russian Federation after Moscow and Saint Petersburg to develop trading and commercial relations, and partnership in the scientific and educational sphere with the largest German land at the long-term basis. 


Source: Magazine of the Russian-German Chamber of Commerce, Issue No.5