The Baltic Course  

Business without borders

Maston Toshov, MAM Financial Resources  and Avisto Ltd., general director . He is quite certain that he can be of use to his country and his people. 

From Maston Toshov’s CV: he is 45, retired military, took part in

military hostilities in Afghanistan. Entered business in 1996 and believed that every businessman must know his rights and obligations. This is, to his mind, the only way to success.

Mr. Toshov,  we know you have a successful business in Uzbekistan. Would you tell us about your business activities in the region? 

We have a lot of successful businessmen here. I’m in finances, i.e. trying to chanell investments to Central Asian region. Another part of my business is to cover present demand for consumer goods in Central Asian republics, including Uzbekistan.

What brought you to the Baltic coast?

My friend Maris Abolins, whom I have known for more than eight years, lives in Latvia. We’ve been in cotton business together, among other things. A year ago we registered in Riga two companies – MAM Financial Resources (where I have 80% shares) and Avisto (my share is 75%).

What do you do today?

Our main business is investment. We have a legal office and provide consultancy on financial matters and investments, arrange export-import transactions and shipments to the Republic of Uzbekistan and to other Central Asian countries through Baltic ports. Many other investment projects are in the planning stage.

There are no borders in business, I know many people from Latvia, who successfully cooperate with Uzbekistan in various fields of business.  I would like to bring Latvian and Baltic businesses to our region on mutually profitable terms.

What goods can be taken to the Baltic region?

One can work with Central Asia in a number of directions. First of all, in agriculture, i.e. fresh and dried fruit, juices, natural concentrates, wines and strong alcoholic drinks. I would like to organize regular deliveries of water-melons, and other exotic fruits, pomegranates to the Baltics. At any rate, they would be cheaper than the fruit currently on sale in your shops.

Second, it’s textiles. Apart from traditional Uzbek cotton exports, we can supply the Baltic states with natural silk, famous Uzbek carpets, other silk garments. I believe we must always live on good terms with nature, giving preference to ecologically safe and clean natural products and materials.

What should be sent to Central Asia from the Baltic?

The main products needed in our region are sugar, vegetable oil, butter, fish and that kind of consumer goods.  

What are your present plans and that of a more distant future?

At present we are involved in registering a joint venture organized by three partners: Ventspils merchant port, an Uzbek company and MAM. We have worked out an arrangement that would be benefitial to all sides. According to preliminary plans, first cargos from Central Asia will pass through Ventspils port already in November or December this year. 

We will do all we can in order to open an Uzbek trading house in Riga in 2004.

Uzbekistan has a strong deficit of paper products. At the same time, we have raw materials – abovementioned cotton, as well – that can be used in production of paper. At the moment we are working on a project to build a factory that would produce paper and paper products out of cotton. Negotiations are under way with Finnish partners.

My goal is to bring to Uzbekistan investments that can be put to good use. To my mind, one has to remember one’s home, and take of it. In this way your neighbours will have a good life too.