OREANDA-NEWS. VTB Bank and SEMMARIS have signed a licencing agreement to use the French company’s expertise and technology to create Agropark Maksimikha, a wholesale distribution centre to be constructed in the Moscow Region. The agreement was signed by Andrey Kostin, VTB President and Chairman of the Management Board, and St?phane Layani, President of SEMMARIS.

The signing ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev and Moscow Region Deputy Prime Minister Denis Butsayev.

SEMMARIS manages the Rungis International Market, the world’s largest high-tech food and logistics centre, located in Paris. The company has world-leading experience of organising and managing wholesale food parks, including the establishment of direct ties between small farms and consumers.

Agropark Maksimikha is estimated to cost about RUB 40 billion. Construction will begin in the second half of 2016 and is scheduled to complete in 2018.

The agreement between VTB and SEMMARIS will bring cutting-edge technology to Russia with the construction of a modern wholesale distribution food centre of a new type. Agropark Maksimikha will help achieve the following major goals in the Moscow Region: 

  • Create a large food market for Russian producers;
  • Diversify the range of available food products;
  • Support transparent and controlled pricing;
  • Contribute to the import substitution programme;
  • Help domestic agricultural producers enter the wholesale market of the Moscow Region.

At the signing ceremony, Andrey Kostin said: “This agreement between VTB and SEMMARIS is one of the first deals of this scale between Russian and French companies in the past year. In this context it is a signal event. It is no exaggeration to say that our partnership is taking place as political contacts improve between Russia and France on key international issues.”

Arkady Dvorkovich said: “We welcome the launch of this important project. I believe that cooperation between the Russian and French companies will result in the creation of a next-generation agro-industrial cluster, and that food supply in the Moscow Region will improve dramatically in a matter of years.”

Alexander Tkachev said: “The Russian Ministry of Agriculture supports these investment projects by providing subsidies and compensating 20 percent of direct construction expenses, because these projects help achieve a number of priority goals in the agriculture industry. As a result, we will have an effective and transparent retail system with fair pricing, increase the competitiveness of domestic agricultural products, supply Russian-grown products to the market and strengthen national food security.”

Denis Butsayev said: “The creation of this agro-industrial cluster is crucial for the Moscow Region as it will help domestic producers enter the regional market, create a system for managing food product quality and stimulate agricultural production in the region. Moscow Region will contribute greatly to this project, because this is one of the sectors that the regional and federal authorities support by compensating directly or by providing subsidies to cover investors’ expenses. The wholesale distribution centre is one of such projects. The regional government also supports the investor by building the necessary infrastructure, including roads, and offering discounts for the connection to electricity and gas mains.”

Agropark Maksimikha will be an agro-industrial cluster of a new type, providing an integrated venue for wholesale food suppliers and consumers in Moscow Region and a platform for creating a transparent wholesale market using high-quality international technology. The total project area will exceed 300 hectares.