Wednesday September 12, 2012
Potential for joint-ventures between Malaysian and Russian firms
KUALA LUMPUR: Bilateral trade between Malaysia and Russia is expected to expand 11% this year from US$2bil last year through greater diversification of economic linkages in areas such as nano technology, energy and space exploration.
Russia's Ambassador to Malaysia Lyudmila G. Vorobyeva said there was also potential for tie-ups in tourism and education and opportunities for Malaysian companies to invest in infrastructure development.
She also did not rule out the possibility of a free trade agreement (FTA) with Malaysia.
“If we have offers from Malaysia, why not,” she said when asked about possible FTA with Malaysia during a media briefing yesterday.
However, she said Russia was not interested in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement being negotiated by nine major regional economies including Malaysia and the United States.
Russia, which was accepted as the 155th member of the World Trade Organisation last month, was also interested in improving ties with other countries particularly in Asia-Pacific.
“We want to explore more free trade agreements with other countries. Currently, we are negotiating with New Zealand and Vietnam,” she said.
“Last year, our trade with Asean amounted to US$15bil, of which US$2bil is with Malaysia,” said Vorobyeva, who has been Russia's envoy in Malaysia for two years.
Malaysia is Russia's fourth largest trading partner in Asean behind Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.
Vorobyeva said Malaysian companies were also welcomed to invest in Russia.
There is only one Malaysian firm investing in Russia in a timber processing facility worth US$200mil.
“We need more foreign investments in infrastructure and tourism development particularly in the southern part of Russia, more so with the upcoming Winter Olympics in 2014,” Vorobyeva said.
Sochi, a resort city in Krasnodar Krai and situated along the shores of the Black Sea, will host the games in February 2014.
Russia is keen to develop the southern part of the country, which is known for its subtropical climate and is a popular tourist destination. Bernama