x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Russia seeks investment from UAE

A delegation of Russian businessmen and politicians arrived in the UAE to urge Emiratis to divert investments from the West to the East.

DUBAI // A delegation of Russian businessmen and politicians arrived in the UAE yesterday to urge Emiratis to divert investments from the West to the East. "People were greatly disappointed with their investments in the West, so why not change and take a chance on Russia," said Stanislav Voskresensky, Russia's deputy minister for economic development. Mr Voskresensky was in the city to attend a two-day Russian investment roadshow in Dubai to promote the country as a viable and secure place to invest.

Some Emirati investors in attendance said they were concerned about corruption and a lack of transparency in Russia. "There is a new package of laws being discussed and one of the main reforms is tackling corruption and the reintroducing [of] confidence in our courts and justice system," said Mr Voskresensky. "Law and reinforcement is one of the Russian president's main priorities. "Russia's wealth is too dependent on oil prices, like this country and other oil-producing countries in the Gulf," said the minister. "So it is important to diversify and become less vulnerable to the changes in oil prices."

Current UAE investments in Russia total about US$3.5bn (Dh12.85bn), mostly equity in state and private companies. Russian investment in the UAE amounts to US$4m, and is generally limited to property. However, Dubai is believed to have benefited greatly from Russian involvement in its economy over the years. The Russian delegation called on the UAE as well as other Gulf countries to invest in Russia's infrastructure, one of its struggling sectors. The Russian government is already investing US$200bn in its transport and infrastructure.

Alexander Saltanov, the special representative of the Russian president, Dmitri Medvedev, in the Middle East, listed peaceful atomic energy as a thriving industry that could be of interest to the UAE. The UAE stressed the importance of bilateral investments at a time when many countries have been hit by recession. "Let us look at the positive side of the crisis... and take this opportunity to strengthen relations between the UAE and Russia and invest in each other's countries," said Salah al Shamsi, the chairman of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

@Email:rghazal@thenational.ae