By Gavin Gibbon
Workshops aimed at strengthening bilateral investment in oil and gas, petrochemicals, construction and energy
Saudi Arabia and Russia have held talks over potential joint investment programmes worth more than $10 billion.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the country's sovereign wealth fund, and representatives of major Russian companies, led the first business mission of the Russia-Saudi Economic Council to the kingdom this week.
The workshops as part of the mission were dedicated to strengthening bilateral investment cooperation and discussing joint projects in several areas including oil and gas, petrochemicals, construction and energy.
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO, RDIF, said: “Projects with potential joint investment of more than $10bn in total were discussed during the workshops. Russia and Saudi Arabia are implementing large-scale national development programs that are of considerable investment interest to the business communities of our countries.
“We intend to continue the discussion during a reciprocal visit of representatives of Saudi businesses to Moscow, which is expected in the spring. We will discuss projects in high technology, medicine, construction and agriculture.”
Dmitriev had said in an interview last summer that Russia’s sovereign wealth fund and its Saudi partners were looking at 25 new projects with plans to invest more than $2bn in 2019.
In addition to discussing promising joint projects at this week’s meeting, representatives of the Russian delegation visited Saudi oil and gas facilities.
In October last year, the RDIF announced the opening of its first foreign office in Saudi Arabia, to conduct activities stemming from a number of ongoing agreements and platforms.
“Among them is the Russia-Saudi Investment Fund, established by RDIF and the kingdom’s sovereign fund – the Public Investment Fund – for joint investments in attractive projects,” an RDIF statement said.
“RDIF and PIF also actively cooperate within the platform for Russian-Saudi Energy Investment and the $1bn Russian-Saudi platform for investments in the technology sector.”
At that time, the two parties had funded and approved over 25 joint projects with a total investment value of more than $2.5bn.
Saudi Arabia, a leading voice in OPEC, has been trying to persuade Russia to join deeper oil production cuts. Moscow has said it will disclose its stance on that proposal in the coming days.