Russia’s RDIF & Russian Railways Win Tenders To Develop Saudi Rail

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Russia-Saudi Rail Deal Is Part Of Saudi Vision 2030 And Is Belt & Road Initiative Aligned

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russian Railways and the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) signed an agreement on Monday to jointly expand the Saudi rail network, according to a statement released by RDIF. The corresponding documents were signed yesterday as part of President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

“The agreement is aimed at the joint expansion of the SAR railway network and projects related to the Vision 2030 program, as well as the supply of components for the Saudi railways,” the statement reads. All three parties will consider the possibility of supplying Russian systems to improve safety, as well as to facilitate the exchange of competencies between Russian Railways and SAR.

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Earlier, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said that Russian Railways would take part in a tender for the construction of railways in Saudi Arabia. “Saudi Arabia has a massive railway construction program, and a series of tenders and competitions for who will supply it. Russian Railways could participate in the construction of a significant element of the railway infrastructure in Saudi Arabia. We believe that Russian Railways is one of the most competitive companies in this area. Together with Russian Railways, we are promoting the concept of Russian Railways participating in the construction of various sections of railways in Saudi Arabia.”

Dmitriev noted that the RDIF also supports projects for investing Saudi companies’ funds into the national projects in Russia. “We share information on where to invest in infrastructure and, accordingly, discuss investments in national projects — this will be one of the important topics of discussion during (President Putin’s) visit to Saudi Arabia,” he said.

The rail deal includes Russian supply of engines, carriages, related products including train control and safety systems, and the training of Saudi rail personnel in Russia.

Russian Railways is actively developing cooperation with the countries of the Middle East. In March 2017, Russian Railways and Iran Railways signed a deal on strategic cooperation of the electrification of Iranian railways.

Russia’s RDIF and Russian companies are also beginning to venture out far more into the international arena for large scale tenders than in previous years, in many cases in projects aligned with China’s Belt & Road Initiative. The BRI has already been aligned with the Saudi Vision 2030 project and both China and Russia appear synchronized in their ability to compete and win tenders for major G2G tenders in ways in which the United States and EU seem unable to compete.

 

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Russia Briefing is written by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm has 27 years of operations in China and assists Russian and Foreign investors establish operations into the country. Please contact us at russia@dezshira.com or visit us at www.dezshira.com

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