By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
The Russia-Turkey Investment Fund, set up last year by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Turkey Wealth Fund, aims to strengthen bilateral economic ties and increase investment flow between two countries, according to the RDIF head.
RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev
In particular, the parties will focus on infrastructure construction, healthcare and information technology sectors, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.
"The fund will see the RDIF and the Turkey Wealth Fund invest $500 million each targeting the projects that strengthen trade, economic and investment ties between Russia and Turkey," Dmitriev said.
"Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) play an important role in providing capital to stimulate economic growth," he said. "By investing in existing and developing businesses and major infrastructure and social projects they can continue to have a positive effect on the local and global economies."
"Furthermore, SWFs are intensifying mutual cooperation, acting as a sort of financial diplomat between countries when economic ties help to establish or further improve political relations between the states," he added.
The RDIF, established in 2011 to co-invest alongside top global investors and act as a catalyst for direct investment in Russia, to date has concluded more than 50 deals.
"The fund invested and committed for this purpose 1.2 trillion rubles (around $20 billion) and also attracted over $30 billion of foreign capital into the Russian economy through long-term strategic partnerships," Dmitriev said.
"Currently, we have reserved capital of $10 billion under management and invested in 20 projects just last year."
The Turkey Wealth Fund was established in 2016 as the country's sovereign wealth fund with aims to develop Turkey’s strategic assets, to grow their value and thereby to provide funding for Turkey’s priority investments. Its portfolio -- valued at around $40 billion -- includes shares of some 15 giant companies from various sectors.
Partnership with Turkish companies
"The RDIF continues to explore and build new partnerships across the world and investing in the most promising sectors of the Russian economy, including technology sector which is now becoming an important area for the RDIF and its partners," he said.
Dmitriev also stressed the RDIF set up a number of new joint funds and platforms with partners from Israel, India, China, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia among others last year.
"Joint investment funds established with Japan, China, the Middle East and other countries continue to boost economic ties and strengthen bilateral trade between Russia and our global partners," he noted.
Speaking about cooperation with Turkish companies and the RDIF, he said: "We are currently developing joint projects with a number of other Turkish companies."
"For example, on the sidelines of the visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Turkey, the RDIF and a prominent Turkish construction company MAKYOL have agreed to form a partnership to jointly implement infrastructure projects," Dmitriev said.
The RDIF head stated that the agreement foresees the joint implementation of investment projects in the infrastructure sector -- including road construction.
"In 2014 the RDIF and Turkish construction firm Ronesans Holding -- which has vast experience, expertise and technologies -- also agreed to jointly invest $400 million in Russia," he said, adding that the joint investments were channelled into healthcare, construction, real estate and infrastructure projects.