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Russia to Boost Technical Textile and Nonwovens Sector

Don’t sound the death knell for Russia’s textile industry just yet: The country’s government will reportedly provide subsidized bank loans to select technical and non-wovens manufacturers after textile production tumbled as much as 25 percent in April.

An official spokesman for Denis Manturov, Russia’s minister of industry and trade, told Innovation in Textiles that the undisclosed funds would help these producers complete projects and start new ones.

The move follows the Russian Central Bank’s announcement in December that it had increased its annual interest rate by 6.5% to 17 percent in an effort to restrain inflation, which in turn led to many banks upping their lending rates for local manufacturers and demanding early repayments.

Additional state funding will also be invested in a textile innovation hub in Pikalevo, a factory town east of St. Petersburg, that’s expected to open in 2017 and will function as an incubator for textile start-ups.

On top of that, a government-supported synthetic-fiber production plant planned for the Ivanovo region might get a handout, too, as the construction cost over the past year has gone 60 percent over budget to reach 17.7 billion rubles ($320 million).

Another priority will be modernizing the country’s outdated textile machinery. Earlier this month, Russia inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UCMTF, the French association of textile machinery manufacturers, to strengthen ties between the two countries. France is the world’s sixth largest exporter of machinery for both traditional and technical textiles.