CAIRO: Kirill Dmitriev, Chief Executive Officer of the Russian Investment Fund announced Sunday night that the Russian investments in Egypt reached $7 billion.
He added in statements to Al-Nahar television channel on the sidelines of Egypt’s Economic Development Conference that Russia considers Egypt a “major partner” in the Middle East with several projects in power, tourism, agriculture and logistics.
Dmitriev added that one of the latest agreements that have been signed with Egypt was to establish a sovereign wealth fund to be a sustainable source for ongoing investments between both countries. He explained that the current increasing volume of trade hails a “new level” of Russian investments in the region.
Dmitriev also noted that the Dabaa nuclear power plant is expected to be established soon in cooperation with Russia, and the plant will be one of the biggest nuclear power plants in the Middle East.
In early February; President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced in a news conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who was on a two-day visit to Cairo, that Russia will assist Egypt to establish its first nuclear power plant, and enter into a free trade zone and industrial zone in Egypt.
“We signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a nuclear power plant in Dabaa to produce electricity,” Sisi stated.
Bilateral relations between Egypt and Russia began to strengthen even before Sisi assumed the office of president; he visited Russia as defense minster in February 2014 shortly after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. He visited Russia again as a president in August.
Russia is the biggest wheat exporter to Egypt, while Egypt is one of the biggest exporters of other agriculture products, especially after the EU agreed July 29, 2014 to impose economic sanctions on Russia for its role in the Ukraine conflict. In a retaliatory step, Putin ordered Aug. 7 a ban on agricultural imports from the EU, France 24 reported.
Russian investments in Egypt amounted to $65.62 million in January 2013 with 383 Russian companies investing in Egypt, according to the Egyptian State Information Service. Egyptian investments in Russia reached to $13.7 million in December 2012.
Additional reporting by Samar Samir