RIYADH, October 14. / TASS /. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russian Railways and the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) have signed an agreement to jointly expand the SAR railway network, according to the statement released on Monday by RDIF. The corresponding documents were signed today as part of President Vladimir Putin's visit to Saudi Arabia.
"The agreement is aimed at the joint expansion of the SAR railway network and projects related to the Vision 2030 program, as well as the supply of components for the Saudi railways," the statement reads. All three parties will consider the possibility of supplying Russian systems to improve safety, as well as to facilitate the exchange of competencies between Russian Railways and SAR.
Earlier, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev told reporters that Russian Railways would take part in a tender for the construction of railways in Saudi Arabia. "Saudi Arabia has a massive railway construction program, a series of tenders and competitions for who will supply it. Russian Railways could participate in the construction of a significant element of the railway infrastructure in Saudi Arabia. We believe that Russian Railways is one of the most competitive companies in this area. Together with Russian Railways, we are promoting the concept of Russian Railways participating in the construction of various sections of railways in Saudi Arabia," he said.
Dmitriev noted that the RDIF also supports projects for investing Saudi companies' funds into the national projects in Russia. "We share information on where to invest in infrastructure and, accordingly, discuss investments in national projects — this will be one of the important topics of discussion during a visit to Saudi Arabia," he said.
Russian Railways is actively developing cooperation with the countries of the Middle East. In March 2017, Russian Railways and the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways signed a memorandum on strategic cooperation on the electrification of railways.