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Among the countries hardest hit by the 2008/2009 economic crisis, Russia is marching to a very compelling beat on its journey to economic recovery. In 2010 it was still moving toward stabilization, and faced with considerable difficulties -- primarily its credit system, that was slow to respond -- but by 2011 the first really convincing gains were apparent. In fact, the year ended with a 4.3% increase in GDP compared to the previous year. And, the World Bank is already predicting additional growth of 3.5% for 2012.
Hand-in-hand with this brilliant performance are the excellent business ties that continue to be strengthened between Italy and Russia, with trade figures that reached 46 billion dollars in 2011 and demonstrate just how much Made-in-Italy products and technology are appreciated in that country.
It is from this perspective that the successful investments in Russia made by the Glass Alliance network should be interpreted, giving rise to two companies -- OOO Fenzi and OOOAlu-Pro -- for on-site production of Thiover polysulphide sealants and Alu-Pro aluminum spacer bars, respectively. The network itself has also undertaken distribution throughout the region of all the materials needed to produce the IG units that the entire group manufactures. The direct production model was employed in order to duplicate the same characteristics, and especially the same qualitative standards, already achieved in all the group’s manufacturing centers around the world. Along with the established quality of the products distributed by the Glass Alliance, this solution has made it possible for local processors to employ Russian-made materials and accessories of the same identical quality level as those made in the West.
This vision is corroborated by Davide Brandolese, General Manager of OOO Fenzi and OOO Alu-Pro: “The sales levels we are experiencing are extremely gratifying. In the first five months of 2012 we increased our turnover by more than 15% compared to the same period last year. This figure is very meaningful because traditionally in Russia the calendar year up to May is very slow, then picks up in the spring and summer months. Our expectations for this year are quite high because, in all likelihood, the best is yet to come. We are growing our market share and our top clients are showing their appreciation for the increasingly high quality of our products, which they have no intention of giving up.” This rosy situation is also demonstrated by a very significant indicator, that is, by the up-and-coming building and construction sector that posted a 5.1% growth rate at the end of 2011 -- a clear sign that access to wealth is available to a growing number of citizens and that, above all, the banking system has once again opened its credit coffers. “The building industry is thriving and the dollars are once again in circulation – declares Brandolese – particularly in Moscow and St. Petersburg, where the real estate market is extremely lively and focused on both new construction and renovation. There’s widespread demand for apartments in the city, but a dacha in the country is also a very sought-after item. Construction sites are beehives of activity and that certainly means lots of work for us. For example, just think about this, more than 60% of the existing homes lack IG units. And the banks are offering credit, even though financial market conditions are still pretty far removed from those in the West.”
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