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Russia finds potential investment cooperation among Russia, UAE, China and Saudi

By Binsal Abdulkader MOSCOW, 13th October 2019, (WAM) – Russia has found major potential for cooperation among Russia, UAE, China and Saudi Arabia in investment sector, according to a top Russian official.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, mentioned this while talking about Russia-UAE joint investments in other countries.

"We [jointly] invested in some opportunities outside Russia. We see [possible] cooperation in other markets may be China may be Saudi Arabia," he told a UAE media delegation that visited his office in Moscow, ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s scheduled visit to the UAE on October 15.

"It is going to be next step forward. Because a great partnership is being developed generally between Russia, UAE, China, Saudi Arabia, and other partners," Dmitriev said without specifying "other partners."

He said the UAE has become a centre of technology in the Middle East. "We want to invest in technology companies in the Middle East," he said.

Russia has opened its first Russian Centre for Digital Innovators and Information and Communication Technologies in Dubai’s Internet City, making its first official foray into the Middle East’s technology sector.

He detailed the strategic relationship between the Russian Direct Investment Fund, RDIF, and Mubadala, Abu Dhabi-based global investment company, which established a US$2 billion joint platform for investments in Russia.

The RDIF announced the opening of its first foreign office in Saudi Arabia last week. The office will conduct its activities based on ongoing agreements and platforms with partners from Saudi Arabia, said an RDIF press release issued on 8th October.

"Among them is the Russia-Saudi Investment Fund, established by RDIF and the Kingdom’s sovereign fund - Public Investment Fund (PIF) - for joint investments in attractive projects. RDIF and PIF also actively cooperate within the Platform for Russian-Saudi Energy Investment [established together with the state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco] and the US$1 billion Russian-Saudi platform for investments in the technology sector."

To date, the parties have funded and approved over 25 joint projects with a total investment of over US$2.5 billion across various sectors of the economy, such as advanced technology (including Artificial Intelligence), medicine, infrastructure, transport and industrial production.

RDIF and Saudi Aramco are also considering numerous active projects in the oil services sector with a total investment value of over US$1 billion, as well as in oil and gas conversion projects worth over US$2 billion.

RDIF is the first Russian investment institution to open an office in Saudi Arabia, said the press release.

Kirill Dmitriev received the highest award of Saudi Arabia, the King Abdulaziz Second-Class Order of Merit, by the order of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, in recognition of his contribution to strengthening cooperation between the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

WAM/Hassan Bashir