SUAL Group, one of the world’s ten largest aluminium companies, today signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to work as equal partners to encourage economic and social development in Russian communities where SUAL operates. This is a new partnership of its kind between USAID’s Russia mission and a Russian company.
The partnership is directed at local governance and institutions, provision of healthcare and infrastructure, as well as encouraging small businesses and community organisations. Such cooperation also aims to increase the involvement of citizens in local decision making.
Speaking at the signing of the memorandum, Victor Vekselberg, Chairman of the Board of SUAL Holding, said: “SUAL will be contributing to the development of Russia’s regions through the support of an efficient organisation system of local governance and infrastructure. In addition to that, cooperation with USAID will provide access to the rich international expertise accumulated by the agency. It organically complements the Group's commitment to support the economic and social development of the regions in which it operates. I am sure that our future cooperation with USAID will further support the growth of civil society, and benefit all the citizens of Russia.”
According to the memorandum, SUAL and USAID will finance the projects on a parity basis.
The partnership’s activities will directly improve the quality of people’s lives in diverse locations, from Irkutsk in Siberia to Kandalaksha in the north-west and Volgograd in the south. Pilot areas being considered for the initial program include:
- Kamensky-Uralskiy, the third largest town in Sverdlovsk Region (Population 250,000)
- Shelekhov, Irkutsk Region (Population 50,000)
- Nadvoitsy, a rural settlement in Segezha Region, Republic of Karelia ( 9,500)
SUAL and USAID intend to design and co-fund specific activities in the pilot regions, drawing from existing and prior USAID activities and models, operating elsewhere in Russia.
Mr. Terry Myers, USAID Mission Director for Russia said, “Good corporate citizenship is a cornerstone of a robust civil society. Through this Global Development Alliance partnership with USAID, SUAL confirms the potential for business participation in community development and public service in Russia.”
Notes to Editors:
Notes on USAID
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the U.S. government agency that has provided economic development, democratic support and humanitarian assistance worldwide for more than 40 years and in Russia since 1992. As part of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, USAID/Russia works in close collaboration with Russian partners from federal, regional, and municipal governments, non-governmental and non-commercial organisations, and the private sector.
Notes on SUAL
The SUAL Group is a vertically integrated business listed among the top ten largest aluminium producers of the world. It comprises operations in 9 regions of Russia.
Annually, operations of the SUAL Group:
- Mine some 4.4 million tonnes of bauxite
- Refine more than 2 million tonnes of alumina
- Produce some 890,000 tonnes of primary aluminium
- Produce more than 50,000 tonnes of silicon
- Manufacture more than 110,000 tonnes of aluminium products.