Nine Dutch companies have signed a covenant with Bas Pulles, Acting Director of the international business division of NL Agency. Under the agreement, which was made on October 12, the Dutch government will co-finance marketing and other activities whereby the companies aim to secure a number of airport redevelopment contracts in Russia, with a value between €2.5 million (US$3.2m) and €5 million ($6.5m) in the next three years.
The covenant is the initiative of Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO), a Royal HaskoningDHV company, who claim that in the longer term, projects worth between €20 million ($25.9m) and €25 million ($32.4m) may become available.
A reported 15 Russian airports have already been earmarked for redevelopment, with work due to commence within three years. The signatories wish to share the knowledge and expertise available to Russian partners, whilst the agreement also covers joint promotion, investment, research, training and cooperation within the civil aviation sector in both countries.
The Dutch government has agreed to contribute 50% of the cost of these activities, for which a total budget of €815,000 ($1.1m) has been set. The other half will be contributed by the private sector parties themselves.
The possibility of clustering Dutch companies to serve the Russian aviation market was raised in October 2011, during a visit to Moscow by Mark Rutte, Minister President of the Netherlands, and Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Minister for Infrastructure and Environment. This proposal gave rise to the ‘Dutch Aviation Solutions Russia’ programme, which will now receive formal government support under the covenant. The relevant funding will be provided as part of the new ‘Partners for International Business’ programme, which is managed by NL Agency on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation.
Alongside NACO, the signatories are: Airport Commerce & Talent Management (ACTM); Districon; Flight Simulation Company (FSC); National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands (NLR); Royal HaskoningDHV Moscow; SGI Aviation; Stratagem Group; and Vanderlande Industries. The companies will operate under the joint name ‘Dutch Aviation Solutions Russia’ (DASR).
Additionally, the Netherlands has accepted Russia’s invitation to designate 2013 ‘Netherlands-Russia Year’. The two countries have enjoyed four hundred years of diplomatic relations and a number of special events will be held in 2013 with a view to strengthening their ties yet further. The Aviation Cluster/DASR intends to take advantage of the activities organized in both the Netherlands and Russia.