Interview: Russia needs Chinese experience in economic development: banker

Xinhua, GlobalPost, 19.10.2014

MOSCOW, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Russia needs China's unique expertise, experience and investment in developing its economy, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev said on Saturday.

China's advantage in such areas as manufacture, technology and infrastructure "can be used by Russia under the framework of mutual-beneficial partnership," Dmitriev said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

He added that many of Russian industries can turn to explore China's specific market, such as the processing industry of high value-added material and agricultural industry.

As more and more Russian industries are opening up to Chinese investment, the RDIF is expecting more cooperation in areas like transportation, logistics and energy, Dmitriev said.

He added the RDIF has signed a memorandum with Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF) to jointly build high-tech parks in both countries, saying innovation is key to the competitiveness and success of all companies in Russia and China.

"Russia is introducing matured innovative ideas and technologies of foreign countries to help develop domestic technologies that have already emerged," said Dmitriev, also the co-CEO of the RCIF.

The RCIF, a 2-billion-U.S.-dollar private equity fund created in 2012 by two sovereign wealth funds of the RDIF and China Investment Corporation, finances economic projects in Russia, Commonwealth of the Independent States, as well as Chinese projects with Russia's involvement.

According to Dmitriev, the RCIF, with its investment focus on agriculture, food production, mineral mining and processing, logistics, petrochemistry, IT and retail, aims to find cooperative opportunities in borders of the two countries to create mutual benefits.

"Both Russian and Chinese companies are interested in projects that have a bright future," Dmitriev said, adding that the bank has now projects worthy 1 billion U.S. dollars that have received permission from the RCIF and are being carried out.

New projects worth of more than 3 billion U.S. dollars are currently under feasibility study.

The Russia-China relationship is robust, Dmitriev noted. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has just concluded his first visit to Russia since taking office in March 2013.

The CEO added that regular high-level meetings between the two countries' leaders have spurred all-around economic cooperation, especially in investment.

In recent years, China has become Russia's fourth-largest source of investment, pumping in more than 32 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2013.