Russian firms eye stronger business ties with Saudi Arabia amid western sanctions
RIYADH: A business delegation of 23 Russian companies held talks with Saudi firms in Riyadh on Oct. 4 amid a growing call from the US and EU to cut ties with Kremlin entities.
The meeting comes as Saudi Arabia strives to attract foreign direct investments aligned with its Vision 2030 goals.
The talks stressed on the vitality of elevating trade relationships between Saudi Arabia and Russia, while taking advantage of investment opportunities and establishing commercial partnership relations between the two parties to serve common interests.
Stanislav Yankovitz, the commercial representative at the Russian Embassy, noted that the trade relationship between Saudi Arabia and Russia has leapfrogged in recent years, with commercial exchange volume in 2021 witnessing an increase to $1.7 billion, and is expected to reach $5 billion by the end of 2024.
The event also witnessed bilateral meetings between businesspeople and representatives of Russian companies working in various sectors which include creative industries, education, electric power and design engineering.
Some of the other sectors include cosmetics, furniture, perfumery, food industry, industrial, information technology, smart technologies, medical equipment and oil and gas.
Counselor of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Saudi Arabia Alexander Istomin, said that Russian-Saudi relations are strong and that they have been witnessing continuous rapprochement.
The head of the Saudi-Russian Business Council Tariq Al-Qahtani said that it is playing a crucial role in strengthening trade relations between the two countries as it seeks and provides investment opportunities through the establishment of joint projects.
Western firms exiting Russia
Meanwhile, owing to the conflict in Ukraine, several western companies have exited their operations in Russia, despite chances of revenue loss.
Adidas, which has over 500 stores in Russia, suspended its operations in the country — the move is expected to cut 1 percent of its revenue this year.
Cigarette maker Philip Morris also announced that it has suspended planned investments and will reduce manufacturing in Russia.
In the energy sector, BP said it would sell its nearly 20 percent stake in Rosneft, the Russian state-controlled oil company. The firm also wrote off $25.5 billion on its nearly 20 percent holding in Rosneft.
Another energy major Exxon Mobil had announced that it would end its involvement in a large oil and natural gas project.
In a move that could cost billions, Shell also exited its joint ventures with Gazprom, the Russian natural gas giant.