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Details on Business in Asia, Africa

Reports published late Tuesday by the Economic Development Ministry shed light on Russia’s business activities in Asia and North Africa. Energy projects predominate, but some interesting niche opportunities are emerging, including logging with North Korea.

Morocco figures as a prime business destination. Atomstroiexport passed the pre-qualification round for a tender to build a nuclear plant in Sidi Boulbra. The project foresees the company take an “equity stake in the nuclear power plant and its subsequent operation,” according to one report.

Gazprom plans to take part in the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal in Morocco and take an equity stake in its operation. Russian companies are also bidding in the pre-qualification round of an international tender for the construction of the Tarfaya thermal power plant. Renova's Avelar Energy Group plans to build solar power plants in Morocco.

Singapore's trade with Russia in 2010 reached more than $2 billion through October. The relationship was buoyed by Singapore's shipbuilding and oil rig manufacturing (70 percent of world production) industries. LUKoil has taken the delivery of seven ships built in Singapore.

Indonesia’s state oil company PT Pertamina is seeking LUKoil's assistance to develop the country's offshore West Papua area, and the state bank is buying banknote paper from Goznak, the Russian state company that produces coins and banknotes.

Of the thirteen countries covered by the reports, most saw bilateral trade decline in 2009, except Laos, Cambodia, New Zealand and Singapore, which all had consistent year-on-year increases.

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