Russian-Saudi Economic Council meeting

Russian-Saudi Economic Council meeting

Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev and Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih discussed the development of bilateral relations, including agricultural trade. Russia and Saudi Arabia also signed a memorandum on expansion of mutual food exports on October 15, 2019.

The Ministry of Agriculture of Russia expects that the signing of the Memorandum will boost the development of interstate relations. According to this document, it is planned to ramp-up bilateral trade resulting from the increase of supplies of Russian cereals (wheat, corn, barley), niche crops (peas, flax, chickpeas, coriander, lentils, sorghum), forage grasses (alfalfa), live animals and livestock products (poultry, beef, lamb, eggs, dairy products), food products (chocolate, confectionery, sugar, flour, dried leguminous vegetables), as well as import of Saudi fish products, shrimp, fruits and dates into Russia.

As Dmitry Patrushev noted, agriculture is one of the key areas of interaction between the two countries. Last year, about half of the total trade between the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia accounted for agricultural products and amounted to almost $500 million.

“We propose developing a joint program for expansion of exports of Russian food products to Saudi Arabia so that exports of Russian agriculture products exceed $2 billion by 2024,” Patrushev was quoted as saying in the statement. He said Russian producers of poultry, honey, milk, flour and confectionary were interested in boosting supplies to Saudi Arabia.

During the visit the following agreements were signed:

  1. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, announces a cooperation agreement with Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC).

  2. The Russian Direct Investment fund (RDIF), PhosAgro and the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden) have formed an investment cooperation partnership for jointly implementing projects in Russia and Saudi Arabia.