The French concern Alstom is ready to increase the level of localization in the contract for the supply of electric locomotives to Ukraine, French Finance and Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has said. “For example, with regard to the contract for the supply of electric locomotives, Alstom is ready to localize up to 35% of production and service in Ukraine. At the beginning of the discussion, Alstom planned to localize about 20% of production in Ukraine. We realized that this was not enough. This is a vivid evidence of our readiness to take into account the legitimate request of the Ukrainian authorities,” Le Maire said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
He said that France fully understands the request of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, who wants French companies involved in contracts with Ukraine to locate a significant part of their production in Ukraine.
“This is a perfectly legal requirement, and we acted accordingly,” Le Maire said.
The Minister said that France has a long history with Ukraine, and he is determined to open a new chapter of this long journey from an economic point of view.
“There is a significant network of French companies in Ukraine: now there are 160 French companies in the country, employing 30,000 people. This makes French companies the leading international employers in Ukraine. We also want to strengthen our ties in very specific sectors: utilities with distribution of drinking water, energy, infrastructure and transport such as trains, healthcare and, of course, agriculture. In all these sectors, I think there are opportunities for deepening and expanding relations,” Le Maire said.
The French company Alstom has arrived in Ukraine and is looking for a platform for opening joint or new production facilities for investments, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv has said. “I’ve just met Alstom, the world’s third largest producer of power equipment and railway transport. The company came to Ukraine with investments and is looking for a platform for opening joint or new production facilities,” Kubiv wrote on his Facebook page. In his words, IT partners, engineering solutions, manufacturers of electrical and mechanical equipment, partners for joint production of electric locomotives and spare parts for them are also needed.
“I have assured that Ukraine is the right choice for investment. Work goes on!” First Deputy Prime Minister said, “tagging” (noting) Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Kistion, Viktor Dovhan (Deputy Infrastructure Minister) and Yevhen Kravtsov (acting CEO of Ukrzaliznytsia). Alstom is one of the world leaders (along with Siemens and Bombardier) in the production of power equipment and railway transport. The company’s revenue in 2016-2017 fiscal years was EUR 7.3 billion. Alstom operates in more than 60 countries. Its staff exceeds 32,800 people.