The United Arab Emirates is a serious and promising partner for Russia in the Gulf region, with the two having outstanding ties of friendship and common interests. But experts say both countries have huge potential for growth in trade and economic relations.
In 2012 trade turnover between Russia and UAE reached $1.5 billion dollars. In the first six months of 2013 trade increased by 7.5% and topped almost $900 million. Last year the UAE invested $82 million in the Russian economy, while Russia invested $57 million. All in all, UAE has invested around $2.2 billion in Russia.
After the recent visit by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed to Moscow and his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the total amount of investment is set to grow more than twofold. Abu Dhabi will invest up to $5 billion in Russian infrastructure projects under an investment partnership signed in Russia’s capital this fall. The country’s finance department will co-invest in the joint venture together with the state-run Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). The big announcement came months after the RDIF set up a $2 billion fund with Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development to fund projects in Russia across industry sectors.
The development of air travel between the two countries is one of the easiest ways to increase investment and trade between Russia and the UAE. Among other areas of cooperation are the energy sector, construction, transportation, and telecommunications. In 2011, Stroytransgaz ended the construction of the 250-km-long gas pipeline in the UAE.
Currently, at least 40 branches of Russian companies and over 350 joint ventures operate in the United Arab Emirates. Such key Russian companies as LUKOIL, Rosneft, Volga-Dniepr, Kurganmashzavod, Amtel, Stroytransgaz, the Pipe Metallurgical Company, Intercomholding, ALROSA, Metalloinvest Holding, VTB Capital and Inter RAO EES work in the Arabic country.