RIYADH: Russia and Saudi Arabia will launch joint projects worth $3 billion by the end of the year, speaker of Russia’s Federation Council said on Monday, according to a media report. Valentina Matviyenko was speaking at a meeting with members of the Russian-Saudi Business Council, the official Russian news agency TASS reported. “Although Saudi Arabia ranks second among the Arab states in terms of trade with Russia, the volume of mutual trade turnover in the past year has significantly decreased,” Matviyenko was quoted as saying in the report, which cited the press service of the Federation Council. “This does not correspond to the potential that our countries have, we are interested in expanding economic ties,” the speaker highlighted.
According to Matviyenko, the most promising areas of cooperation are energy, geological exploration, mining, petrochemicals, tanker construction, investment cooperation, and the training of personnel. She reiterated that Russia offers its partners great opportunities for business development and investment. “The parliament adopted the laws improving the investment and business climate,” she said. Matviyenko noted that “the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Sovereign Fund of Saudi Arabia successfully cooperate.” “Thanks to them, projects totalling about $600 million have been implemented and projects worth $3 billion should be launched by the end of this year,” she said.