RDIF CEO: Cooperation With Saudi Arabia Has No Limit

aawsat.com, 13.10.2019

The planned visit of President Vladimir Putin to Saudi Arabia reflects the high level of relations between the two countries, in light of the 30 joint agreements expected to be signed, according to CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev.

Dmitriev said in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat in Riyadh that the visit of President Putin to Saudi Arabia is a qualitative visit by any standards, and sets for a new phase of relations that will be the best in the near future.

Dmitriev attributed the constantly evolving cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Russia to the high-level agreements and meetings that Putin held with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

He noted that the visit is also gaining importance due to its "positive real effects" - pointing out that it will achieve a great deal of stability in the region given the pivotal positions of both countries and their influential role.

He stressed that Saudi – Russia cooperation is not limited by the borders, indicating there are many areas and opportunities that will be a fertile environment to enhance the joint action.

Putin held several talks with King Salman and the Crown Prince in the last five years, which created a solid ground for positive cooperation, according to Dmitriev.

Collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Russia "will continue to have a positive impact in creating a balanced global market and will help stabilize energy prices in global markets."

Dmitriev predicted the coming period will witness a partnership in the sectors of modern high-tech industries, space science and other vital areas of the two countries, in addition to enhancing cooperation in economy, investment and trade in general.

About 30 agreements will be signed between the two countries during the President’s visit, saying that this clearly shows that the collaboration between the two countries is limitless, and will include all traditional and new sectors, announced RDIF CEO.

He revealed Russian officials held various meetings with a number of Saudi officials in major government companies, including SABIC and Aramco, to draw up a "road map" on how to increase their work together in industries relating to the oil, gas, petrochemical and other products.

RDIF is mandated to support the development of bilateral cooperation between the two countries in key areas, as it is the main partner of Saudi companies in Russia.

He explained that there are plans to announce more than 10 new agreements worth over $2 billion during this visit, including a partnership agreement with a leading Saudi investor in Russian agriculture, and a partnership in the railway sector.

He announced that the Saudi-Russian Forum will begin its meetings on Monday, which holds the largest delegation of Russian businessmen in the Kingdom, with the participation of over 300 members from both sides.

Dmitriev said the Fund and the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) are working together to establish a mutually beneficial cooperation with investments worth over $2.5 billion involving more than 30 projects.

Dmitriev also noted that the portfolio of funds investments made a 12 percent return on investment, noting that there are over 25 new projects valued at $10 billion being developed in various sectors, including technology, agriculture and business development in the Russian Far East.

He stressed that there is a special focus on advanced technology, including artificial intelligence, confirming that the Russian Fund will actively cooperate with the Saudi side in this regard.

Aramco and SABIC are forming an unprecedented alliance to build a massive Arctic petrochemical complex that uses the North Sea route to supply products to Asian markets.

According to the CEO, this provides a unique opportunity to invest in a range of projects worth more than $400 billion in a wide range of industries, including infrastructure.

Dmitriev pointed out that there is a similarity between Russia’s national development goals and Vision 2030.