Russia Development Watch: March 2017

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russia-magnified-2Our monthly round up of Russian infrastructure and investment developments:

Mercedes Benz to Commence Russian Production in 2019

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has stated that German auto manufacturer Mercedes Benz will commence production in Russia in Moscow in 2019. Mercedes Benz have had a Special Investment Contract approved for nine years, with an overall investment of some USD260 million.

Arkhangelsk Deep Water Port Operational By 2025

Regional Governor Igor Orlov has stated that the first stage of the Arkhangelsk Port on Russia’s North-West Arctic coastline will be operational by 2025. The port has access to the White Sea and offers passage across the Northern Sea route. This would provide shipping east through the Arctic Ocean to China’s north-eastern coast and Japan, via the Bering Straits, and west through to northern Europe and beyond.

Related Reading: Russia’s 2017 Investment Trends & Opportunities Into Asia

Russian, Iran Commence EAEU Free Trade Negotiations

Both Russia and Iran are negotiating over terms for Iran to sign a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov in Tehran recently to facilitate progress. Both India and China are also in discussions to ink FTA with the EAEU.

Turkey Wants Russian Free Trade Agreement

Turkey and Russia “both want” to sign an FTA, Turkish Presidential Aide Ilnut Cevik has stated, suggesting that both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized such a deal as “profitable” and that no economic or political obstacles were in the way. Stressing that bilateral problems “were in the past”, the FTA is expected to concentrate on energy, tourism, transportation and agriculture. Current indications suggest a late 2017 green light.

Russia, Kazakhstan Agree Several Billion Dollar EDB Funding

The Eurasian Development Bank, a joint venture between Russia and Kazakhstan together with Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, has agreed a “several billion dollar” project designed to boost Russian-Kazak trade volumes. Noting that trade had slipped recently due to currency issues, the funding is designed to ‘boost and secure’ bilateral trade. This includes funding into Kazak Railways, the Northern Kazakhstan-Aktobe Power Transmission Line, and Tin Production.