President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr Dmitriev.
How was the year? What are you plans?
Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev: Mr President, thank you very much for your support for the Russian Direct Investment Fund. We had a very successful end of the year. Together with our partners, we invested 365 billion rubles in the Russian economy. The RDIF provided 30 billion of its own money and the rest came from our partners. This means that we attracted about 10 rubles from our partners per every ruble of our own.
The year’s results show a very significant increase in direct foreign investment as well. Our forecast was 70 percent but we can see that it could be even several times higher. When it comes to direct foreign investment in non-banking industries, the growth can be fourfold compared to last year. We believe that Russia has reached a very stable trend of direct foreign investment growth in the future.
We are investing in the sectors you specified in your May Executive Orders and the Address to the Federal Assembly. These are sectors related to the quality of life, healthcare, environment, etc. For example, the RDIF and the French company Orpea are investing in centres for the rehabilitation and support of the elderly. It will be one of the largest networks in this sector in Russia.
We also invested in Motorica, a developer of absolutely innovative prosthetic limbs both in Russia and the world. We invested in waste recycling together with a Spanish operator that will be providing services to 600,000 people and basically recycling 70 percent of all waste in Kaliningrad Region.
We can also see that companies in our portfolio are demonstrating very significant growth. In 2019, their returns grew by 13 percent and profits by 24 percent. This means we are selecting up-and-coming Russian companies with a good potential of growth and give them the opportunity to grow faster.
Some of our new and interesting projects include a hydropower plant in Karelia that was test-launched in late 2019, and a fast tram in St Petersburg that will carry 33 million passengers twice as fast. Another project is the Tushino Technopark, covering 600,000 square metres, that was built at a record pace, within two years. As soon as this year, we expect that the technopark will have 26,000 families living and 20,000 employees working on its territory.
You also focused attention on the birth rate. For example, our Mother & Child network has opened 34 new modern medical centres in 20 Russian regions over the past few years. That is, we are working very hard on the goals and objectives that you have set.
As for national projects, we have invested in projects such as [Central Ring Road] CKAD-3, CKAD-4 and M4, and together with the Finance Ministry, we are working to ensure that more private funds go towards national projects. We see this as an opportunity.
And accordingly, also money from the National Wealth Fund – thanks to your support, we invested 125 billion rubles in various projects and made a return 30 percent higher than the same return would have been had we invested in US securities.
At the same time, there are such important projects as the Elimination of Digital Inequality, which together with Rostelecom provides internet access to small and medium-sized towns, Smart Grids with Rosseti and SIBUR’s new petrochemical complex. Therefore, we really see and show that the NWF funds can work for the growth of the Russian economy as the right investment tool.
And in conclusion, I would like to note the investment in technology. Of course, this involves the creation of a large conglomerate in Russia together with Alibaba, where all data will be processed in Russia, and this company will actively develop precisely according to Russian rules, and interesting partnerships with China.
As for artificial intelligence, our partners have allocated two billion dollars for various investments, and we bring many of our companies to the Middle East markets. This also applies to satellite information analysis companies, as well as facial recognition companies, that is, we make our companies more global.
Vladimir Putin: This is when we can directly and without any hesitation say that we occupy a leading position. The topics you just mentioned are good, interesting and promising.
Kirill Dmitriev: Yes, of course.
Your visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates was also quite beneficial, because they not only invest a lot in us – and the Saudis have already invested more than 2.6 billion, 35 projects, while the Emirates have invested more than 2.3 billion, 50 projects – but they really want to use our technology.
Our partnership with China is also ongoing: they have already invested $7.5 billion. We have opened a new Russian-Chinese technology fund, a venture capital fund.
And do not forget about investments together with Europe, including opening a factory with the Italian company Barilla in Moscow Region. And together with the French company Schneider Electric we are investing in ElectroShield Samara.
In other words, we are actively working with Europe, and, of course, with Asia and the Middle East.
Vladimir Putin: Fine.
Kirill Dmitriev: Thank you.