$1bn for Russia, Japan investment platform

Russia’s Vnesheconombank and Russian Direct Investment Fund have teamed up with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation for an infrastructure initiative.

The State Corporation Development Bank for Foreign Economic Activity (Vnesheconombank), the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) have signed a joint memorandum creating the Russian-Japanese Investment Platform. 
Under the agreement, RDIF and JBIC will each invest $500 million, while Vnesheconombank will “potentially provide financing to fund projects and design new financial products to support the platform” according to a statement. 
The memorandum contains guidelines for future investment decisions including projects in Russia’s Far East and East Siberia. Investments will focus on infrastructure development, healthcare technologies, alternative energy and smart cities. 
“The Asia Pacific region is the driving force behind the global economy’s growth today and this joint venture with our Japanese partners will not only help us capitalise on this but also help the development of the Far East and East Siberia, both of which are potentially profitable for Russia and our close neighbours,” said Vladimir Dmitriev, chairman of Vnesheconombank, in a statement. 
He added: “These regions have many opportunities, including infrastructure projects. I am confident that investors will recognise that and the possibility for potential returns.” 
Last month, RDIF and Vnesheconombank struck a similar agreement with the China Investment Corporation and the Russia-China Investment Fund, which also provided guidelines for infrastructure investment in Russia’s Far East.  
RDIF is a $10 billion fund launched by the Russian government in 2011 to make equity investments, mainly in the Russian economy. It is mandated to attract co-investments from sophisticated global investors, making it a tool for direct investment into Russia.