A project to attract Arabic investments in the Russian ag compex may channel up to 10 billion US dollars into the sector

As part of the XX April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development, organized by the HSE, Deputy Head of Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service Andrei Tsyganov and Director of the HSE-Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development Alexey Ivanov discussed Agrofinmost (Agro Financial Bridge), a project to attract Arab investments into the Russian agricultural sector, with Sheikh Mohammed Taki Usmani, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank’s Sharia Board.

In return for investments, which are expected to go as high as 10 billion US dollars, Middle East countries will receive guaranteed volumes of grain to ensure food security of the region.

«The project will set up an organizational and legal platform to attract Islamic investment in the Russian agri-food sector in accordance with Islamic law (fiqh) structures. The key feature of such a financing model, which distinguishes it from the usual speculative models, is its focus on building long-term partnership in implementing socially beneficial projects, rather than seeking short-term interest gains,» says Alexey Ivanov. «Not only did we devise mechanisms for long-term partnership in the supply of Russian agricultural produce to Middle East countries, which are based on principles that make sense even to the most conservative of Islamic investors, but also took into account the growing needs of these countries in ensuring food security of the region. The next stage is creating a pool of Russian partners who would be willing to take part in the practical implementation of the project.»