MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. France’s President Emmanuel Macron has decreed to award the Legion of Honor order (Ordre national de la Legion d’honneur), the country’s highest distinction, to the Chief Executive Officer of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev, for his contribution to developing ties between Russia and France, RDIF said in a statement on Friday, noting sharp expected growth in joint Russian-French investment in the next five years.
RDIF has worked with French partners since 2013 helping French companies to develop in Russia and Russian companies to enter the French market. The fund and its partners invested 250 million euros in the Russian factory of glassware manufacturer Arc International. Macron, then economy minister, attended the signing ceremony at Arc’s headquarters in France.
In the following years RDIF announced investments in projects with French biotech group Olmix, medical rehabilitation company Orpea, energy management company Schneider Electric, heating, power supply and waste management company Veolia and energy services company Dalkia.
At the beginning of 2018 the total amount of accumulated French direct investment in Russia reached a record 16.3 billion dollars.
"This award is a reflection of the progress we have achieved through investment cooperation in recent years. Over the next five years, we intend to quadruple the volume of investment in the Russian-French investment platform. This will enable to surpass the record amount of foreign direct investment [from France] reached at the beginning of 2018," Dmitriev said.
The official award ceremony will be held on November 19, 2018. The award will be presented by Ambassador Sylvie Bermann.
The announcement comes ahead of the ceremonies to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One in the French capital hosted by Macron. Over 60 heads of state including Russian president Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are planning to attend the event.
"I am grateful to the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, for his recognition and such a high appreciation of RDIF’s contribution to strengthening bilateral relations between Russia and France." Dmitriev said.