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The congress takes place annually. This year it was attended by more than one thousand specialists from Europe, America, Africa and Asia. For a period of three days, more than 20 participants from 18 countries gave a series of reports. The programme provided for a visit to factories producing ferro-concrete and an exhibition showing the latest advances in machinery and equipment, concrete chemistry, solid concrete moulds and computer software. Particular attention this year was paid to the two most developing markets — the Russian market and the Indian market.
The state of the St. Petersburg concrete and ferro-concrete markets were described by Viktoria Ivanova, head of the department at ZAO PO Barrikada responsible for working with project organizations. “Bearing in mind,” she said, “that the city is becoming more and more open for foreign investors, we as a market leader in the production of ferro-concrete in the region can speak not only about our industry, but about the development of the city as a whole.” Viktoria Ivanovna’s report was of great interest to the audience. And as evidence of this, at the end of the congress, she was awarded the prize for the best paper. Other prize-winners were the representatives of Germany, Sweden, Britain and Afrika.
One of the interesting themes discussed by participants was the work done by the manufacturers of products made of concrete with project organizations. “It is pleasing,” said Viktoria Ivanovna, “that our experience of working with project planners has proved to be beneficial to our European colleagues, many of whom have expressed their intentions of setting up specialized departments at their enterprises, as we have done at the Combine. Apart from exchanging experience, participation in events of this kind makes it possible to understand the environment in which our partners work so that when the various issues are brought up for discussion, it becomes easier and quicker to find points of contact.”
At the congress, Russia was represented by delegations from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Tula and Tver.
The congress threw light upon the main trends and problems in the market throughout the world. These included: promoting pre-prepared ferro-concrete constructions; renewing standard technology procedures, determining fixed standards for the industry; utilizing production and building waste; improving the composition of mixes so as to achieve better surfaces for products (particularly in the case of engineering requirements like rings and pipes). Also shown at the congress were samples of new technology in the manufacture of products made of concrete such as magnetic fibre-reinforced ferro-concrete, which uses tiny metal particles lodged magnetically in the concrete and reflecting (with the effect of illumination) the stones in the paving work.
“In general,” said Viktoria Ivanovna summing up, “I would like to mention the great interest shown by our European colleagues in the Russian market. And not only from the point of view of selling our factories their equipment and technology. Great interest has been shown in the work of our Concrete Manufacturers’ Association and there have been proposals to participate in the work of European professional combines. Then there is the clear impression that Russia is no longer considered as simply a sales market for Europe, but has become a fully-fledged partner, particularly when it comes to deciding upon general standard technology and production procedures.”
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