Ufa ready to host BRICS and SCO summits - republic's head to RT

Russia’s Bashkortostan is ready to host the 7th BRICS summit and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in the capital Ufa, the republic's president Rustem Khamitov told RT. It’s hoped the events will bring the region to a new level, he said.

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Ufa is expecting 10,000 visitors during the two summits in early July,said Khamitov at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.

The region was ready for the summits about a month ago. A lack of modern hotels was our weak point, Khamitov said, adding that private investors managed to construct seven leading brand hotels, like Sheraton, Hilton and Holiday Inn during the last two years.

"The heads of states and provinces will arrive bringing with them about 10-20 representatives of small and medium enterprises each. We will introduce them to each other, formalize this platform, work out the plan and open new ground,"Khamitov said.

The BRICS and SCO summits will take place on July 8-10 in Ufa. Russia expects the BRICS summit to trigger off the $100 billion BRICS New Development Bank and a currency reserve pool worth another $100 billion, said President Vladimir Putin in May.

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The member countries are also likely to discuss the IMF reform that should expand the decision-making abilities of developing countries, and the possibility of creating an independent BRICS rating agency. Russia assumed the BRICS rotating leadership in April 2015.

Khamitov says the BRICS and SCO summits will be a favorable environment for making new business deals and strengthening economic ties across the region. The republic of Bashkortostan represents certain interests among foreign entrepreneurs and attracts investment, Khamitov added.

"At present foreign investors participate in several big projects. These are investors from Austria, Germany and China,"he said. "Chinese investors are involved in the construction of an iron and steel plant and of a heavy oilfield equipment manufacturing plant. This is very good. I’m hoping the amount of foreign investment will increase. Today this amount is relatively small – no more than 5-7%, but we are hoping to reach the level of 10-15%."

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Chinese investors are particularly interested in the republic’s agricultural sector and are currently involved in joint projects to construct a sugar factory and a plant producing rapeseed oil, he said.

The member countries of BRICS and SCO are interested in the region’s industrial production as well. “For instance, India buys helicopter and aircraft engines from a plant in Ufa, and the Indian government plans to build and affiliated branch in its country,” Khamitov said.

Foreign trade with Bashkortostan is estimated at $15 billion, of which only one billion, or 7.5 percent, is with the SCO countries. The republic’s government wants to double this figure within 3 to 4 years, and it could be achieved through improving relations with BRICS and SCO economies, Khamitov concluded.