‘Russia offers tourism, business potential to Brunei’

National 2 minutes, 0 seconds


Russia’s ambassador to Brunei is encouraging locals to visit his country due to its rich Islamic history and cultural heritage and Bruneian companies to explore business opportunities in the technological field.

Ambassador Vladlen Semivolos told The Brunei Times in an email interview there are wide prospects for the development of tourism with Brunei as Russia is home to about 20 million Muslims who form an integral part of the society.

“Bruneian tourists are welcome to enjoy halal food and restaurants as well as explore many places of interest in the capital Moscow and other parts of the country such as the recently opened Moscow Cathedral Mosque with a capacity of 10,000 worshippers,” he said.

Semivolos said another famous mosque is in Grozny, which is one of the biggest and most majestic mosques in Europe and the world.

He said previously that Russia is looking forward to establishing direct links with the sultanate, noting that Brunei’s cultural heritage would attract interest among the Muslim population in Russia.

“The unique culture and traditions of Brunei as well as its famous mosques would be of interest for the Muslims in Russia,” he said.

Semivolos is encouraging Bruneians to travel to Russia. He said there are over 7,000 mosques in the country, with the largest ones in the cities of St Petersburg, Kazan and Grozny.

Meanwhile, he is also encouraging Bruneian companies to engage with Russian partners in the high-tech field.

“One of the current priorities of our government is the development of technological innovations in fields such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, nanotechnology, IT, space and nuclear technology.”

He said technoparks have been set up in different parts of Russia, primarily in cities with leading universities, research centres or clusters of privately owned high-tech companies.

Skolkovo is the biggest innovation hub in Russia located just outside Moscow which specialises in 3D prototyping, clinical trials and chemical research, among others, Semivolos added.

The Russian republic of Tatarstan, he added, has well-established infrastructure for the integrated support of small and medium-sized innovative business development.

Technopark ‘Idea’ is a business incubator in Tatarstan which provides day-to-day management for start-ups, administrative support and project financing.

Since its inception in 2004, the ambassador said about 7,500 jobs were created on its premises, with over 450 companies making use of its infrastructure.

He said the average age of the employees of resident companies at the technopark is between 26 to 28.

The Brunei Times