Russia 101014 Basic Political Developments

Russia to commence deliveries of goods to Armenia through Turkey

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Russia to commence deliveries of goods to Armenia through Turkey

Thu 14 October 2010 07:06 GMT | 9:6 Local Time

International forum "Strategic Partnership 1520: Caucasus Region” completed in Baku.

At international forum "Strategic Partnership 1520: Caucasus Region” completed in Baku yesterday OJSC Russian Railways (RZD) announced forthcoming opening of a new route of delivery of goods to Armenia.

Addressing to the forum, RZD senior vice president Valery Reshetnikov informed that ferry service would open these days between the ports of Caucasus (Russia) and Samsun (Turkey).

In his turn, Hokim Matchanov, general director of Black Sea Ferry & Investments (BSI), belonging to RZD, said that berthing complex for 200 rail cars and wheelset (trucks) change system had been constructed in Samsun port within the project to ensure transition from Russian track (1,520 mm) to European track (1,475 mm).

"To this end, a reserve of carts for 100 cars was created in Samsun. In addition, there is available cargo handling cargo from trains to automobiles. This system enables not only bilateral supplies between Russia and Turkey, but also carry cargo from Russia to Syria, Iran and Armenia,” Matchanov said.

Besides opening of the new transport route to Armenia, RZD considers that ferry line will be used for supplies of construction materials and equipment from Turkey for construction projects within the 2014 Winter Olympiad in Sochi. Russia will deliver mainly coal and chemical products, while Central Asia textile output.

RZD subsidiary and Kazakhstan offer alternative routes of North-South transport corridor

Yesterday-finished Baku international forum "Strategic Partnership 1520: Caucasus Region” has shown lack of single clear development concept of North-South transport corridor.

Addressing to the forum general director of Black Sea Ferry & Investments (BSI), owned by OJSC Russian Railways (RZD), Hokim Matchanov, said that Azerbaijan proposed to lay a corridor on the western shore of the Caspian Sea (Astara-Baku-Russia), Kazakhstan – on eastern shore (Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan-Russia), and we initiate consideration of a project of line Bandar – Abbas – Amir-Abad (Iran) - Caspian Sea - ports Makhachkala or Olya (Russia) with use of railroad ferries.

"With an overall assessment of prospects of cargo transportation via the corridor at the level of 23-25 million tons, the ferry line could undertake up to 1 million tons of cargo a year," Matchanov said.

BSI has already begun making a feasibility study of the project in collaboration with Iranian Association of Freight Forwarders.


Russian investors looking towards Pak after 25 years
Thursday, October 14, 2010

Source: OUR STAFF REPORTER just now

ISLAMABAD - Chairman Board of Investment Saleem H Mandviwalla said that Pakistan and Russia have restored economic relations after 25 years, as Russian businessmen are interested to invest here in different sectors including oil and gas exploration, mineral, infrastructure development, and communications.
“Russian has also shown interest in expansion of Pakistan Steel Mill (PSM) and in this regard we had different meetings with them”, Saleem H Mandviwalla, who is already State Minister, said while addressing a press conference. The Russian Ambassador, present in the press conference, said that both the countries have agreed to enhance the existing level of trade and investment and earlier a joint ministerial commission had also been formed.
Minister of State also referred the meeting with Tyazhpromexport to enhance the current capacity of PSM and transforming it into a profit generating entity. Tyazhpromexport was the principal organisation in building Pak-Steel in the Soviet days and has currently shown interest in its expansion and refurbishment.
Talking about his recent Russian visit, the State Minister said, “This visit is of vital importance to establish effective bilateral business relations between the two countries, which should have been done long ago but now both the Governments are serious toward building strong economic relations”.
To a question, he said, “Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has no target as we want more and more of it”.
He further said that FDI has not only declined in Pakistan but throughout the world. FDI went down by 41 percent in Pakistan, while 35 percent in the world, which clearly suggests that FDI also declined in other countries, he added.
“We are expecting that they will bring billions worth of FDI in Pakistan in next few years” he said and added that this visit was beginning and we would witness more of it in future.
During his visit, he met RusAl, the World biggest Aluminium producer, where they showed interest in exploring Aluminium in Pakistan.
In another meeting with VTB Capital, the investment arm of VTB banking group, an international financial group, and the bank assured the timely finances to Pakistan in fields of hydro-power and other areas of concerns. Mandviwalla also held meeting with Gazprom Zaryb-ezhneftgaz for oil and gas exploration in Pakistan.
Chairman BOI also mentioned his meeting with Inter RAO UES OZSC, a leading company in electricity power generation, investments, imports, export group, expressed great interest in working up a plant of 200 MW capacity in Pakistan. To meet the current shortfall of electricity in Pakistan, RAO UES OZSC suggested that electricity power could be imported through Tajikistan.

Russian help sought to set up disaster management centre
Vladimir Radyuhin

MOSCOW, October 14, 2010

Exploring the possibility of joint venture in India to produce silicon chips, telecom equipment: A. Raja

India will be seeking Russia's assistance in setting up a national disaster management centre modelled on a Russian facility, Union IT and Communications Minister A. Raja said.

The Minister was “highly impressed” by the high-tech National Emergency Management Centre he visited in Moscow. The centre gathers online information about natural and manmade disasters all over Russia and coordinates relief and mitigation efforts.

“We badly need such a centre in India and our Home Minister will be visiting Russia soon to firm up specific agreements,” Mr. Raja told Indian reporters here.

Mr. Raja is paying his first visit to Russia on October 10-15 at the invitation of his Russian counterpart, Igor Shchegolev.

The two sides agreed to explore the possibility of setting up a joint venture in India to produce silicon chips and telecom equipment. The idea came up during the Minister's visit to the Moscow-based Micron Company, which boasts an integrated chip-making facility starting with the production of silicon wafers.

“We are looking to Russia, which is among the few countries manufacturing 3G and WiMax chips, to assist India in achieving self-sufficiency in this field,' Mr. Raja said.

Priority areas

India and Russia are planning to sign an MoU in the field of IT and Telecom when Mr. Shchegolev visits India.

“We have identified three priority areas for cooperation in IT: e-governance, telemedicine and techno parks,” Mr. Raja said.

Interestingly, the same areas were identified during the previous visit of an Indian IT and Communications Minister to Russia in 2001. However, there has been no follow-up since then, Mr. Raja admitted.

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