UAE, Russia to co-invest in Egypt

The Khaleej Times, 10.02.2015

Partners will commit funds to develop agriculture, nuclear power and aerospace

Abu Dhabi — The state-owned Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) in partnership with its UAE counterparts will co-invest in projects that offer attractive returns in third countries, a top official said.

After successful co-investments in infrastructure projects in Russia, the investment fund now has plans to co-invest in third countries, Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive officer of RDIF, told Khaleej Times.

Such countries could include Egypt and European countries, the CEO said over phone from Cairo, where he is part of a big Russian business delegation accompanying President Vladimir Putin. The delegation signed long-term agreements to boost the North African nation’s economy.

The fund was set up by the Russian government to attract foreign investments into infrastructure projects and create greater confidence in the Russian economy.

The chief executive said: Egypt signifies an important opportunity for us to invest jointly outside Russia. We see projects with Russian companies who have unique expertise in building nuclear plants and other areas where we can invest jointly with our partners in the UAE, said Dmitriev.

Projects in aerospace are a potential investment, he said. The co-investments to be made in Egypt projects this year would be in the range of $1 billion, he added.

Russia will play a big role in Egypt’s economic growth by co-investing with GCC investors in the areas of agriculture, nuclear power, hydro electricity and other energy projects with a potential to attract $110 billion in investments.

Russia will help the North African nation become a leading producer of food grains to expand its distribution system at the regional level, he said.

Russia will also help in the creation of an Egyptian development fund on the lines of RDIF to attract international financial resources.

Dmitriev said that two infrastructure projects have already been kicked off with UAE investments by introducing smart grids to cut down electricity transmission losses by 15 per cent. The telecom project will involve construction of a fiber optic system to provide internet linkage to 13,600 villages.

The RDIF was established to make equity co-investments primarily in Russia alongside top international financial and strategic investors.