Vol. 5 Num 1022 Tue. April 17, 2007  

Russians keen to invest in power, transport sectors
Meet FBCCI, DCCI leaders

Visiting Russian business delegates yesterday expressed keen interest to invest in areas such as power, transport and waste management system in Bangladesh.

"As we have expertise in establishing hydro power plants in some EU countries and China, we can invest in Bangladesh as the country faces huge power crisis," said Alexander Shalimov, director (export sales) of JSC Tushinskiy Machine-Building Plant (TMP).

"We will study investment potentiality in Bangladesh. If there are chances to invest here we can invest in the power sector either with 100 percent ownership or jointly," Shalimov said.

The four-member Russian delegates were exchanging views separately with leaders of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers and Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).

"Bangladesh is quite an attractive place for transport sector investment. So, we consider investing in Bangladesh to establish Kamaz's truck and bus assembling plant here. The company has such plants in Iran, Pakistan and Vietnam," Ildar Urmanov, leader of the business delegation of Russia and first deputy general manager of Kamaz Inc.

Now, Kamaz Inc is selling heavy trucks and buses in 97 countries, he said. The company delivers 45,000 trucks and 2000 buses to the world market per year, he added.

"We are coming to Bangladesh both for investment and trading," said Sergey Gavrikov of business development agency Exportech-Tour Ltd.

He said Russians also have a huge potential to invest in waste recycling plant.

Bangladeshi textile and RGM products have a huge market potential in Russia, he added.

However, Bangladesh's main exportable items such as RMG, leather goods and ceramic are yet to get Russian government's special tariff preference.

FBCCI President Mir Nasir Hossain urged the Russian government to provide Bangladesh with duty free market access.

He said, "As we have a huge trade gap with Russia, duty free access to Russian market will give us opportunity to reduce the trade gap."

The present trade volume between Bangladesh and Russia is around $215 million per year and the balance of trade is in favour of Russia. Bangladesh's import from Russia was $199.78 million against its export of $15.63 million in 2005-06.

DCCI President Hossain Khaled also urged the Russian businessmen to invest in automobile sector in Bangladesh. He also sought necessary information on Russian market.

Olga Grishina, chief economist of Kamaz Inc, and Ildar Gibadyukov, second secretary of Russian embassy in Dhaka, were also present at the meetings.