Russian investors eye Namibian projects

May 10, 2005 02:00 AM

Namibian entrepreneurs who have a wide range of economically viable business proposals could forge financially profitable partnerships with investors who have a ready access to the Russian state-owned bank of foreign trade, Vneshtorgbank.
Such joint ventures between the two countries range from infrastructural development of Namibia's roads and railway systems, the much-publicised Kudu Gas Field Project, the processing of cheap construction building blocks, erecting a hydropower station and the reconstruction of local airport facilities.

The latest developments came after the Russian business delegation recently visited the country to look into possible areas of joint economic cooperation. It was during this time that they were welcomed by the Minister of Trade and Industry Immanuel Ngatjizeko, while at the same time they also held private talks with President Hifikepunye Pohamba and with members of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI).
The Director of the Joint Projects Department at Vneshtorgbank Vladimir Tevalinski said that the Russian business people have expressed keen interest in a wide area of possible economic cooperation between the business people.

"Specific negotiations looked into infrastructural development of roads and railway construction, starting up a hydro-power project in Namibia and establishing a plant to produce new but cheap bricks for construction," explained Tevalinski when asked what specific areas of cooperation the two countries would be engaged in.
Further deliberations will also be undertaken with the possibility to upgrade Namibia's radar surveillance system.

At the same time incentives are also there to further boost already existing economic ties between Namibia and Russia, where possibilities in fishing and diamond business would also be discussed in future meetings.
"Talks on the diamond issue was not touched on that deeply during this recent trip to Namibia, but plans are there to expand the diamond business in Angola to Namibia as well," added Tevalinski. This would further give way to other possible future joint projects between the two countries.

Currently logistics are being worked around coordination and financing of these various projects, where Namibian businesses are expected to be clients of Vneshtorgbank. Furthermore, deliberations are also being made on how these joint ventures should be implemented. With this in mind a second visit by the Russian business delegation is likely in the not too distant future.
Vneshtorgbank is the second largest bank in terms of assets and capital. During the next two to three months deliberations are also going to take place with the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) on how to finance and coordinate these joint ventures.

Source: New Era
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