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The outlook for cooperation between Canada and Sverdlovsk was discussed at a meeting between Sverdlovsk Region Governor Alexander Misharin and John Sloan, Canadian Ambassador to the Russian Federation. The Canadian diplomat arrived in the capital of the Central Urals to head a delegation of enterprises participating as exhibitors at the Innoprom-2011 Expo.
During the talks, both sides agreed that there was tremendous – though as yet unrealized – potential for mutually-beneficial cooperation. Given the great similarity between climactic conditions and geographic size, and considering the existence of common interests, a constructive dialogue must be hammered out. Mr. Sloan believes that as a country with vast forest resources, Canada possesses cutting-edge technology dedicated to the construction of timber homes. Canadian enterprises produce durable, “green” construction material that may be of interest to potential Russian partners.
The governor deemed the proposal highly interesting – particularly in light of the “Affordable Housing” program currently underway in the region. He noted the persistent misconception that the use of advanced technology in construction necessarily renders buildings less affordable. Not so. A fine example of this emerging trend is the new Svetlorechensky residential district, where each building has a different appearance than the next. Yet, only the most advanced technology was used in construction. The buildings turned out both affordable and energy-efficient. Of course, government support must also be factored in, but there should be more such examples, said the governor.
Alexander Misharin named partnership between educational institutions – Urals Federal University, for example – yet another priority area for cooperation. “The Urals Region has a robust engineering school,” he stressed, “and we are interested in organizing student-teacher exchanges. We also extend professors and instructors an invitation to come work with us, and hope that the resulting contacts will be of interest to both sides.”
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