Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Director General of Stadler Rail Group Peter Spuhler

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All the possible assistance will be provided to the Swiss company Stadler Rail Group for the sake of further implementation of the joint venture in Belarus. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement as he met with the company’s Director General Peter Spuhler on 27 February.

The President said: “We are ready to seriously participate in the development of your business in Belarus in order to make it a true Belarusian-Swiss brand. We know how to work, our mechanical engineering industry is well-developed and your technologies will come in handy for the sake of developing them here, in Belarus and the entire customs space”.

The head of state remarked that the operation of the Swiss company in Belarus is often referred to as an example for other foreign investors to follow. “We refer to you as an example of what kind of investors we are interested in welcoming in Belarus,” he said.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, a lot has been done already for the sake of implementing the cooperation development plans. “Our railway operator already uses the trains that we once bought from Switzerland and will now make in Belarus,” said the Belarusian leader.

The Belarus President explained that the meeting had been arranged for the sake of addressing some exigent issues concerning the project’s implementation and the strategy. “I have invited everyone concerned so that we could resolve all the problems that exist today with regard to manufacturing more of your products in Belarus,” said the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that in line with previous arrangements a factory to make Belarusian-Swiss products is being built in Dzerzhinsk District. “We are very much interested in it because your products that you are going to make in Belarus in association with us represent the future. A great number of customers are willing to buy them,” added the President.

In turn, Peter Spuhler thanked Aleksandr Lukashenko for broad support and congratulated Belarus on winning five gold medals at the Sochi Olympics. He noted that a Swiss athlete came second in one of the races where Belarusians came first and third. “With Stadler as an example we can combine our accomplishments and will become leaders together with Switzerland,” noted the head of state.

Peter Spuhler informed the President in detail about the progress in the construction of the factory and the administrative and manufacturing complex. In his words, the construction project is subdivided into three phases. The first and second phases are already in development. “We will be able to start manufacturing products in Fanipol as early as late April. As for the administrative wing, it will be ready in August. The construction has been going fast. We’ve had virtually no delays,” said the Director General of the company.

Peter Spuhler also said that 70 Belarusian specialists are in Switzerland for training and career enhancement. Those are primarily the specialists, who will be employed for welding operations for the production of aluminum bodies. Later on another 50 specialists will be sent to Switzerland. They will be employed in the final assembly phase. Apart from that, when manufacturing begins in April 2014, the Swiss company will lend specialists to Belarus in order to train the workforce on the spot.

“I believe that we really enjoy very tight and promising cooperation,” stressed Peter Spuhler.

The Director General of the company Stadler Rail Group noted that delivering double-deck trains to the Russian company OOO Aeroexpress is the most important task. “Delivering the trains to Aeroexpress is a matter of prestige. Besides, our company is now busy making two trains for Belarusian Railways. The next promising projects that we plan to partake in are tenders for the delivery of trams and metro carriages to Moscow,” said Peter Spuhler.

Stadler Rail Group is a leading European manufacturer of rolling stock for railway operators. Stadler Rail Group products are used all over the world, including in Australia, Algeria, Belarus, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, the USA, Finland, France, Czechia, and Estonia.

After winning the relevant tender on 19 March 2010 the Swiss company Stadler Bussnang AG signed the contract for the delivery of ten modern electric trains for Belarusian Railways. The trains are designed to bring about new standards of passenger service in Belarus. All the electric trains have been delivered to Belarus and are in use.

Stadler Rail AG is implementing the investment project to start manufacturing passenger electric transport for railroads and urban mass transit systems. The project will be implemented phase by phase by building and commissioning a factory as well as engineering and transport infrastructure facilities in 2012-2016. The joint venture OAO Electric Transport was registered in Belarus in January 2012. It was renamed into OAO Stadler Minsk in November 2013. Apart from building the manufacturing capacity the company is busy taking foreign orders, primarily from potential Russian customers such as the Moscow city government. OOO Aeroexpress’ project provides for enabling passenger transportation to the Moscow airports Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo, and Domodedovo using an elevated railroad. OOO Aeroexpress has ordered a total of 25 trains. The new factory in Belarus  is supposed to start making the double-deck trains for OOO Aeroexpress starting with the fourth train.