Ost — West Association
The Association was formed in early 1994 by several St Petersburg companies among which are the joint ventures Leningrad — Schwabski Domik, The Russian-Holland Company, Western Star, as well as some other companies established with the participation of foreign investments. The initiative of joining together belonged to Valentin Kovalevsky, the Association’s President, who in 1989 opened the Schwabski Domik restaurant — one of the first joint ventures in Russia. The idea of forming the Association was dictated by the wish to survive and have the chance of operating normally in the very complicated situation in the Russian market. At the same time, the purpose of the Association was to stimulate and develop the restaurant business and the art of cuisine in the best traditions of pre-revolutionary Russia. The Ost-West development strategy is based on two main principles: firstly, the Association’s enterprises traditionally specialise in commerce and gastronomy, and secondly, they form a multi-level structure, reflecting the interests of different strata of society. Today the Association embraces restaurants, cafes, bars, night-clubs and trading houses. Ost-West is a non-profit Association executing certain functions as a holding company. Its major activities are consultations on investment policy, planning, taxation, marketing and auditing. The Association finances new projects, renders legal assistance to its members in complicated cases. A mutual assistance system exists in the Association: enterprises operating more successfully give credit to the developing ones on a mutually advantageous basis. The Association invests considerable sums in the city’s infrastructure. Opening its enterprises in the centre of St. Petersburg, as well as on the outskirts, Ost-West undertakes capital repair works and restoration of the buildings which are to house new establishments. The volume of the total investment of the Ost-West Association had reached nearly $7 million by 1996, including foreign investments and credits which amounted to almost $3,5 million. During the period of 1994-1995 the Ost-West enterprises assigned 12.5 billion Roubles for taxes and other payments to budgets of different levels as well as to non-budget funds, 350 million of which were paid to support the housing and social sphere of St Petersburg. The Ost-West enterprises gave the city over a thousand jobs. The Association carries out a vast charity programme, funds are permanently being allocated to support handicapped people, the needy, educational institutions and for other charity purposes. During the years of its existence the Ost-West Association has gained an excellent reputation and is one of the most influential business structures in the city. Constantly developing itself, the Ost-West Association simultaneously strives to create a new cultural level of the city in full accordance with its motto: “Elite. Proper. Reasonable. Ost-West Association.