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№ 6 (June 2009)

MIOGE 2009 Wrap-Up: A View from the Pavilion Trenches

Russian and foreign companies alike were optimistic about future opportunities while greeting potential clients and peer companies at last week’s Moscow International Oil and Gas Exhibition 2009.

By Ben Dow

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There were some big names noticeably absent due to the crisis, but attendees see the best days of the Russian market past the end of the crisis.

 Smaller foreign companies interested in using the crisis to make new inroads were finding success. Huadong Valve Company, a maker of ball and gate valves based in the Bohai Economic Zone near Beijing, has been working with Russian companies like Armagus and Yeniseyprom for over five years. “We are very pleased with out Russian partnerships,” said a Huadong saleswoman who identified herself as Stella.

 Finnish shipping engineers Aker Solutions see MIOGE as a way to whet the appetite of prospective clients going into other events they see as better showcases of their core competencies. The Moscow director of Aker Solutions Alexander Vasilievich Nemchinov sees the RAO/CIS Offshore Conference, taking place September 15-18, 2009 in St. Petersburg, as the show with the most prospective clients and potential for deals.

 North American companies present at this year’s MIOGE focused on the intangibles like brand building and relationships among the giant stands displaying pipeline lathes, generators, and truck-mounted coiled-tubing assemblies.

 “We have been an exhibitor for MIOGE for 8-10 years. It offers the biggest span of what we are interested in. This is one of our biggest marketing efforts. It’s very much a relationship sell in Russia,” explained Weatherford Vice President for Sales and Marketing Christine McGee.

While Western companies may use the downturn to maintain relationships and hoping the market firms up, Russia could be using the time to focus its branding, in any sector, back to eager consumers in Europe and America. “What Russia needs is a good that the West can become familiar with,” said a representative of a North American industry consortium, citing as an example the Japanese car in the 1970s. “Watching Johnny Carson when I was a kid, all of the jokes were about Japanese cars. But look where they are now.”

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