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Gazprom, one of the biggest natural gas and petroleum producers in the world, is one of the companies who visited Ethiopia for Russia-Africa Forum on Friday December 16, at the Sheraton Hotel.
Reliable sources told Capital that the company has approached and held discussions with high government officials about possible investment in Ethiopia.
Sinkinesh Ejigu, Minister of Mines, told Capital that the Russian company has not yet started face to face discussions with her ministry.
“If they are interested in investing in Ethiopia, we will accept them,” the minister said.
According to Sinkinesh, at Friday’s event the country introduced its investment potential for the business delegation.
Gazprom is one of the world’s largest energy companies. Its major business lines are geological exploration, production, transportation, storage, processing and marketing of hydrocarbons as well as generation and marketing of heat and electric power .
In 2010 Gazprom Group sold 480.4 billion cubic meters of gas, including 262.1 billion cubic meters in Russia, 70.2 billion cubic meters in the CIS and Baltic states and 148.1 billion cubic meters beyond the former Soviet Union. 2010 was the year of revival in the global economy followed by the gas consumption growth worldwide.
In Europe – Gazprom’s major export market – gas consumption has surpassed the pre-crisis level.
The first Russia-Africa Business Forum was held here in Addis Ababa, in the presence of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Mikhail Margelov, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Cooperation with African Countries.
At Friday’s event about 90 Russian business delegations selected from different sectors including the mining industry, flower, and vegetable and fruit sectors attended.
The agenda of the forum covers topical issues of trade, economic, scientific and technological, and investment cooperation with a focus on launching promising joint projects in such areas as energy, industrial production, high tech, transport and agriculture.
Meles expressed his wish that Russia-Africa cooperation would grow like other African and old partners, with the emerging cooperation between African countries.
Around two hundred participants including businesspeople and higher officials from Russia, Ethiopia and other African countries attended the meeting.
Two years ago the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, had said that his country was going back to Africa.