Russia and Japan unveil $1bn fund

The Russia-Japan Investment Fund aims to promote economic cooperation between the two nations and targets sectors such as energy and healthcare.

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, partnered state-owned development institution Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to establish a joint $1bn investment fund today.

The two nations signed a memorandum of understanding committing each party to contributing $500m to the Russia-Japan Investment Fund (RJIF), which targets projects that “promote economic, trade and investment cooperation between Japan and Russia”.

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe attended the signing ceremony, which took place during Putin’s official visit to Japan.

Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of RDIF, told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that the fund will invest in bilateral projects in sectors such as agriculture, airport logistics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

There are already 20 projects in the pipeline, and four or five are likely to proceed in the next six months, Dmitriev said.

Initiatives like RJIF are part of a growing effort between the two nations to strengthen economic relationships more than 70 years after the Second World War ended. Since 2013, RDIF has worked closely with JBIC to help Japanese companies seeking to do business in Russia.

RJIF is not the only joint venture vehicle Russia has created: in November 2016, RDIF and China’s sovereign wealth fund launched the $100m Russia-China Venture Fund in partnership with TUS Holdings, the enterprise arm of China-based Tsinghua University’s Science Park.

Dmitriev said in a statement that RJIF “will accelerate the implementation of joint projects and bring the work of RDIF and JBIC to a new level. [The fund] will likely operate as an independent structure and its first deals are expected in the coming year”.

See more from this Government Report: Russia

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