Last November I joined some 100 members of the international business community and select journalists assembled in the Rhodes Restaurant in Tower 42 in the city of London to engage in face-to-face discussion with the President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Mr. Rustam Minikhanov and his team.
By John Bonar
Last November I joined some 100 members of the international business community and select journalists assembled in the Rhodes Restaurant in Tower 42 in the city of London to engage in face-to-face discussion with the President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Mr. Rustam Minikhanov and his team. The Investment Opportunities in Tatarstan Business Forum was organised by CNBC, the satellite and cable television business news channel in the United States owned and operated by NBCUniversal.
Tatarstan is one of the most economically developed regions of the Russian Federation.
The Forum went like clockwork under the cameras of CNBC who were recording the event to broadcast a series of highlights to their 390 million global viewers. The proceedings were in English apart from the President whose Russian language opening remarks were translated and fed to the audience through radio headphones. The presentations skilfully merged Linar Yakupov, Chief Executive of Tatarstan Investment Development Agency, Abas A Jalil of Malaysia’s Amanah Corporation, Timur Shagivaleev , CEO of the Alabuga Special Economic Zone and Dmitry Kuznetsov, Strategic Projects Director of Air Liquide Russia.
Ralph Silva, Director of the Silva Research Network then moderated a panel with President Minnikhanov, Mr.Yakupov and representatives of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Macquarie Capital.
As the networking event got underway in the restaurant bar, a Memorandum for an International Exhibition and Convention Centre with SMART City Kazan was signed with an Abu Dhabi company
From January to September 2012, Tatarstan has attracted $420 million of foreign investment, of which $334 million is Foreign Direct Investment. The republic currently boasts nearly 1300 companies with the participation of foreign capital, of which more than 600 are completely owned by foreign investors.
The London forum was a precursor for the The International Winter Forum INVEST in TATARSTAN – an exclusive, invitation-only event organized by the Tatarstan Investment Development Agency (TIDA) under the patronage of the President which was held at the Kazan Ski Resort on 14 and 15 December.
Some 150 Russian and international investors and businessmen from the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Holland, Turkey, Belgium, China, southeast Asia, the Middle East and other countries will gather for two days to explore investment opportunities within the Republic of Tatarstan. More than 100 investment projects in Tatarstan’s eight priority industries (chemical & petrochemical, machinery & automotive parts production, construction & building materials production, medicine & pharmaceuticals, IT & telecommunications, agriculture & food processing, Halal industry, and service industry & tourism) will be presented to investors for consideration, including SMART City Kazan, a one-of-a-kind project which will establish a modern satellite business city with state-of the-art facilities and infrastructure near Kazan International Airport.
Over a glass of wine the Russian Trade Representative, Mr. Dmitry Lebedev, asked me what I thought of the presentation. I told him to get a copy of the CNBC video recording and duplicate it it to all the regional administrations who were thinking of coming to London to promote their investment opportunities. That way, I said, we might have some properly researched and snappy presentations instead of what has been a shopping trip perk for the delegates.
Since then, Regional development and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the regions has moved up the priority list of the Russian government. Last December President Putin addressed the State Council Presidium on the issues and need to get the all Regional governments singing from the same sheet.
BSR-Russia is proud to support this initiative by committing to publishing in each monthly issue of the magazine from April 2013 onwards a special Regional Investment profile.