Russian Helicopters keen on setting up Thai plant
Russian Helicopters is seeking to form a joint venture with a Thai company to enter the country's flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), aiming to establish production of helicopter parts for aviation companies.
Helicopters are in the aerospace sector, one of the S-curve industries, consisting of 12 segments: next-generation automotive; smart electronics; high-income and medical tourism; efficient agriculture; biotechnology; food innovation; automation and robotics; aerospace; bio-energy and biochemicals; healthcare; defence; and education.
Kriangkrai Tiannukul, vice-chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said Russian Helicopters in interested in investing in a helicopter components plant in Thailand and wants a local partner.
"The FTI was contacted and informed of its intention to enter the Thai market," said Mr Kriangkrai.
"We are in talks to support Russian Helicopters in finding a match."
He said creating a helicopter supply chain will localise new innovation and high technology for the country's aerospace sector, which is undeveloped.
Established in 2007, Russian Helicopters is a helicopter design and manufacturing company headquartered in Moscow.
The company's principal shareholder is Oboronprom United Industrial Corporation, part of the Rostec State Corporation.
Russian Helicopters is the second largest defence company in Russia after Almaz-Antey Corporation.
According to Russian Helicopters' data, there are over 8,000 Russian helicopters operating in over 100 countries.
The company's products account for 90% of the rotorcraft market in Russia and 10% of worldwide helicopter sales.
Mr Kriangkrai said Thailand will be a new potential market for helicopter parts manufacturers to serve many helicopter makers with replacement parts and maintenance and service providers.
"The FTI hopes to find a Thai partner for Russian Helicopters as the two governments have a cooperation agreement framework to further develop industry and trade," he said.
Last December, Thailand and Russia signed cooperation agreements for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), startups, technology and innovation transfers to improve the industry and trade of both countries.
Russia is keen on expanding its investment in Thailand, especially via the government's EEC project that matches with the Russian Far East strategy to have a direct presence in Asia, in part through regional organisations such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
Both governments intend to draw up new action plans on industrial cooperation, covering the Industry 4.0 initiative, the circular economy, SMEs, special economic zones, industry production standards and high technology implementation.
They will set up a joint committee, gathering executives and officials from the Industry Ministry from Thailand and the Industry and Trade Ministry from Russia.