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Russian companies wage investments in Argentina

They want to run businesses for up to US$ 1 billion. A group of Russian industrials led by tycoon Aran Abramian made the announcement in Buenos Aires, before local authorities. Their main target will be the weakened infrastructure of the South American country.

Fueled by the Russian ambassador to Buenos Aires, Evgeny Astakhov, a group of industrials created the Russo-Argentine Business Council, led by the Russian tycoon Aran Abramian and the Argentine businessman Carlos Bulgheroni. The Council joins 40 Russian companies, the major Argentine corporations and the most important chambers of commerce from both countries.

The intention of the Council is to promote the commercial relationship between Russian and Argentinean investors, strengthen bilateral ties and facilitate information exchange. Astakhov made the announcement 24 hours before the arrival of Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov in Buenos Aires. 

There, Russian investors led by Aran Abramian announced their intention to invest in the development of the Argentine infrastructure, seriously affected after the 2001 - 2002 crises. Contracts may add up to US$ 1 billion, as range from the electrification of the railway system to the canalization of the Salado River in the Center of the country. The Argentine counterpart said it was interested in the privatization of Moscow’s airports, as well as in manufacturing port cranes in Russia.

"We want Argentina to be our platform to Latin America", told Astakhov to the local press after meeting with the Argentine minister of Planning, Julio De Vido. "This is the first time ever, in which Russian investors face such a kind of project in Argentina", explained Astakhov. During the soviet era, bilateral exchange used to be 10 times higher than now. At that time, it added up to US$ 2 billion a year. In 2002 Russian imported US$ 148 million in grains, fats and fruits, as Argentina did it for up to US$ 78 million in commodities, as oil and minerals.

Abramian was not as enthusiastic as Astakhov: "These are our first contacts here. We will have to wait until June next year, when we will see what kind of businesses we are going to make together", he said. However, Abramian anticipated that most of the investments will be under the "joint venture" modality, so both parts will share risks and benefits. 

Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, the company that controls more than 30 airports in Argentina and the Erevan terminal, in Armenia, confirmed to the local press that its interested in taking part of the privatization process of two airports in Moscow.

Russian companies and organizations associated with the Council are: Sokil, Vneshtorgbank, Zarubezhneftegaz, MIG, KAMAZ, Rosoboronexport, the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Council for the Economical Cooperation with Latin America.

Hernan Etchaleco
Pravda.Ru