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Islamic investments open new business opportunities for Russia


Kazan, 20 March 2024 (TDI): Russia is discussing the idea of simplifying business registration for foreigners interested in investing in Russia. At the same time, investors from the Middle East and Southeast Asia already have several advantages that allow them to develop projects in Russia. In 2024, new opportunities may open up for them.

In December, it was reported that Saudi Arabian investors, together with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, may invest ₽1 trillion, or almost $11 billion, in Russian projects over the next two years.

Moreover, the partners have invested a similar amount ₽1 trillion over the past eight years. According to reports, the total revenue of the companies into which the funds have been channeled has already totaled more than ₽4 trillion.

Business representatives from Middle Eastern countries at the International Economic Forum Russia-Islamic World: KazanForum in 2023 noted such advantages of investing in Russian projects as the growth of the Russian market, favorable conditions in special economic zones, and partnership relations of the countries that allow large-scale investments.

Experts also drew attention to additional opportunities in regions of Russia where Islam has traditionally been widespread, such as in the Republic of Tatarstan.

For Turkish investors, I see advantages here both in lending and language, Tatar is similar to Turkish, and specialists can easily understand each other. Therefore, our investments will continue, said Eljevit Oktem, director of the Russian enterprises of the holding company Joshkunoz Alabuga.

The main sectors of Islamic investment in Russia, according to KazanForum participants from the United Arab Emirates: wholesale trade and distribution, agriculture, transport and logistics, food production, construction services, and other manufacturing, as well as halal tourism, which is already offered to visitors in the Russian Caucasus and Volga region.

Russian Islamic banking is expected to open new opportunities for investors from the Middle East and Southeast Asia in 2024.

On the territory of four regions of Russia the Republic of Dagestan, Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, and the Chechen Republic from September 2023 to September 2025 there is an experiment to introduce the principles of partnership financing.

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And the regions are already open to outside investors. In particular, the sphere of Islamic finance is becoming another important area of cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran a traditional active participant of KazanForum said Rustam Minnikhanov, Rais of the Republic of Tatarstan, during his recent visit to Iran.

It is planned that an Iranian Trade Centre will start operating in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, this year. It may become the main platform representing the products of Iranian manufacturers in the Volga region.

Partners from the Middle East are also interested in oil production and refining projects, as well as in purchasing airplanes and helicopters produced in the republic.

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An international logistics project – the development of the North-South transport corridor, to which 14 countries have already joined. It is noted that joint efforts in 2023 allowed to multiply the volume of export, import, and transit traffic.

At the stage of expert discussion is a project for the construction of a fiber-optic communication line between Russia, Kazakhstan, and Iran with access to international lines along the Indian Ocean coast. The construction of the line is expected to create a new reliable route for transit traffic in Eurasia and improve data logistics at the global level.

Furthermore, new agreements on profitable investments by Islamic businesses and joint projects with Russian partners are expected to be announced at the XV International Economic Forum Russia-Islamic World: KazanForum, which will be held on 14-19 May 2024 in Kazan.


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