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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rotorcraft Report: Heard in the Hallways: Russia Wants Your Business, But Bring a Translator

Helicopter industry leaders in Russia make much of their efforts to reorganize their activities and reclaim their place as a world leader in design and production of rotorcraft.

A delegation came to the annual Heli-Expo gathering in Houston four months ago to convey that message and to trumpet the showcase of their new efforts: the HeliRussia rotorcraft trade exhibition convened in mid-May in Moscow.

Those anxious for inroads to Russia’s impressive potential market for helicopter products and services who saw that show as a new gateway to that market walked away disappointed. Seems there was plenty of business to be conducted there — as long as you spoke Russian or were accompanied by someone who did.

While show organizers told attendees in advance that, "of course," press conferences and briefings at HeliRussia would be conducted in or translated to English, few actually were. That left those keen for updates on Russian rotorcraft but not fluent in that language in the dark unless they could find — and pay the price of — a translator on short notice.

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