Albert Shigabutdinov: TAIF ready to consider the participation in projects abroad

Leadership of TAIF Group and Egyptian Ambassador to Russia discussed prospects of mutually beneficial cooperation

Albert Shigabutdinov: TAIF ready to consider the participation in projects abroad Photo: Roman Khasaev

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Russia Mr. Ihab Ahmed Talaat Nasr has visited Tatarstan with a working trip. Appointed to this post at the end of 2017, he has come to the republic for the third time and in each of his visits actively supports even more active development of relations between Egypt and Tatarstan. The sphere of mutual interests includes trade, tourism, education and science, cultural exchange, cooperation in industry, including oil and gas processing and petrochemistry. TAIF Group has promising potential for cooperation with Egypt. This was stated by Mr. Nasr during the visit to the head office of TAIF PSC. Read the details of the meeting in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

We have a huge potential for cooperation

Mr. Ihab Nasr explained to Director General of TAIF PSC Albert Shigabutdinov that he had heard about the scope of activities and geography of supplies of the group of companies and glad to meet with its leadership. He decided to meet TAIF leadership during his visit to Tatarstan in February — after the meeting in Moscow with Deputy Director General of TAIF PSC for corporate property management and investment Ruslan Shigabutdinov.

''I would like to express my admiration for how you choose the right people for key positions in the company. It was a great strategic presentation. I was impressed with it. I believe that our countries — Egypt, Russia, Tatarstan and, in particular, TAIF — have a huge potential for cooperation,'' said the ambassador of Egypt.

And this is true: at the end of 2017, the trade turnover between Tatarstan and Egypt amounted to slightly less than 23 million US dollars. And this despite the fact that trade turnover between Egypt and Russia in general at the end of last year amounted to 7,66 billion US dollars, which is more than the results of 2017 by almost a billion.

Egypt is the largest importer of Russian wheat, The Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) in Egypt provides good potential for joint production of other food products, minerals, furniture, machinery and vehicles, equipment, chemical products, fuel, oil and its distillation products, lubricants, plastics, rubbers and products from them – that is, all that Tatarstan produces, and in large volumes.

In Egypt, there already operates Rosneft PJSC, other Russian companies are also showing interest, but the Ambassador of the Arab Republic came to TAIF. There are a lot of areas that could potentially be of interest to the Tatarstan group of companies: Egypt is preparing to becoming the regional energy hub, new oil and gas fields are being put into operation. Produced hydrocarbons provide enough sources for processing, and the country is well connected through a network of free trade agreements with the Arab countries, east, north and south Africa, and the EU.

''Part of the project, of course, will be related to petrochemistry. Today in Egypt there are already two such complexes. The third is on the way of development. I think that we can to strengthen our cooperation this direction. With local production in Egypt you can have access to the markets of one and a half billion people, and if you decide on the strategic step, I think a great future awaits TAIF here,'' expressed confidence the ambassador.


Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Russia Ihab Nasr: ''I was so looking forward to the meeting because Egypt and TAIF have a huge potential for cooperation''

TAIF has enough experience and strength to go beyond Tatarstan and Russia

The products of TAIF Group are well known outside Russia: the largest manufacturers of automobile tires — Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear, Continental and many others — appreciated the high quality of Tatarstan rubbers. TAIF Group is the leading supplier of raw materials for their production. TAIF's rubbers are used today for race cars of Formulas 1. 40% of all polymers produced in Russia — polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, etc. — are manufactured in Tatarstan. 9 million tonnes of various oil products — diesel fuel, gasoline, aviation fuel — are annually produced here. Wherever one needs high quality and large volumes — you can easily find a trace of the ''winged leopard'' (the logo of the group of companies).

''Our main task is to turn natural hydrocarbon materials into useful things for people. At the same time, I must inform you that for the last 25 years our activity has been devoted to the development of our native land — the Republic of Tatarstan. The task was set for our people to have a sufficiently high standard of living, our cities to be beautiful, our people — highly educated, agriculture — productive… and all our efforts were aimed at the development of the republic. We have not worked abroad until now. Over this time, we have developed, become experienced, brought up many highly qualified specialists in all areas where we work. All of our chemical and petrochemical plants, which are part of the group of companies, have been modernized using the latest technologies over the past 20 years. We continue to improve. Now we are implementing the world's first project for heavy residue conversion complex, which allows us to obtain almost 98 per cent of light oil products. We are ready to work outside Tatarstan and Russia. We are waiting for your proposals,'' Albert Shigabutdinov confirmed his readiness for dialogue.

Albert Shigabutdinov: ''Today we have an opportunity to work outside our republic, our country''

A lot of TAIF products are already supplied to Egypt. However, they enter the market of the Arab Republic through intermediaries. In case of interest, the group of companies is ready to start direct supplies of polymers, plastics, petroleum products, and rubbers.

''We are ready to consider the possibility of construction and development of petrochemical plants for the production of polymer products necessary for your country. But it is necessary to find mutually acceptable and mutually beneficial conditions,'' Albert Shigabutdinov emphasized.

Come to TAIF — we are ready to show you what we do

Oil refining, petrochemistry, power engineering — in any of these areas, or all together, TAIF is ready for a constructive dialogue. It is possible to join efforts with local big businesses or other Russian companies. But in order to have something to strive for, it is necessary to clearly understand what is required for both sides of the dialogue.

''Egypt has a good infrastructure including the only 2 LNG facilities in the East Mediterranean, several ports on the Red sea and the Mediterranean, several oil refineries and a surplus in production of electricity and projects for interconnection of grids with the neighbouring countries and the EU. I believe that this huge progects provides remarkable opportunities for our partners especially in the field of oil refining, production of petrochemicals, and electricity power plants to export electricity. Having established processing here and using local and regional raw materials, one can get the maximum benefit using the special geographical location and the strong infrastructure. Several companies already consider creating their own refineries in Egypt, I will be glad to see TAIF Group taking the opportunity. I am sure that the oil and gas processing and petrochemical plants opening in Egypt can be very successful, '' said Ihab Nasr.

For his part, the ambassador is ready to contribute in every way to building a dialogue between the leadership of TAIF and Egyptian business:

''I think that a direct presentation, personal meetings always bring more effect. I would like to invite you to Cairo — I will be glad to organize meetings with the government officials and heads of companies interested in cooperation who are ready to provide detailed information on the points and specific solutions. Then we can move from everything agreed on paper to the next step,'' he declared.

The delegation of the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Russia: in the centre — Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Russia Ihab Nasr, on the right — Minister Plenipotentiary, Head of the Commercial Bureau of the Egyptian Embassy to the Russian Federation Nasser Hamed, on the left — Second Secretary of the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Russia Osman Ahmed

''Thanks you for the offer! Taking this opportunity, I invite representatives of your companies interested in cooperation in the field of oil and gas processing, petrochemistry and energy, and ready to professionally perform their work, to visit us in Tatarstan. We want to show what we do, so they can see what we have. Then, based on the information received, your companies will be able to choose what they need. That would be more productive. And then it would be possible to meet in Egypt and determine the places, gas pipelines, oil pipelines, with the shores and ports,'' Albert Shigabutdinov put forward a counter proposal.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Russia accepted this proposal and promised to provide more information about the possibilities of TAIF to the representatives of the core business of the country and begin to form a delegation to visit Tatarstan.

''I will be glad to see TAIF in Egypt and we will be glad of your success in our land,'' said Ihab Nasr at the end of the meeting.

By Arseny Favstritsky
Tatarstan