Russia’s Investment Fund to Participate in NEOM Project

Asharq Al-Awsat, 27.10.2017

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced its intention - along with major Russian companies - to participate in the construction of the future city project (NEOM), which was announced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman earlier this week.

RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev told reporters during a press conference held on Thursday, on the sidelines of the “Future Investment Initiative” Conference in Riyadh, that the RDIF was seeking to invest with partners in leading Russian companies in the implementation of the Saudi NEOM project, within the framework of several sectors, namely solar energy, healthcare, rapid transit and port infrastructure for the transportation of agricultural products.

He added that he expected the projects collectively to be worth several billion dollars, stating: “We are delighted to be involved in such an ambitious project; it will bring new technology into a wide range of fields, from renewable energy, advanced transportation, port infrastructure, to artificial intelligence.”

“The Russian Direct Investment Fund plans to invest alongside a number of international funds and to bring Russian companies to participate in the construction of the NEOM project,” adding that such move would reinforce the expansion of leading Russian companies and their innovative technologies in the promising markets of Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East in general.

On Thursday, Dmitriev met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, chairman of the Council of Economic Affairs and Development, on the sidelines of the international forum.

During the opening of the Future Investment Initiative, the Saudi Crown Prince announced the launch of the new $500 billion NEOM City project, which extends over three countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

The NEOM city project – which is being established as part of Saudi Vision 2030 – is expected to be home to millions of people near the Saudi borders with Egypt and Jordan. Funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and local and international investors, the city is projected as a free economic zone supported by high-tech businesses.