Raising Arab Capital: Experiences of Russian Regions

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-2-57-61

A. Nagimova (nagimova_almira@mail.ru),
Strategic Studies Institute of the Republic of Bashkortostan, 15, Kirova Str., Ufa, 450008, Russian Federation 

Abstract. The paper analyses the experience of the Russian regions in the raising of the Arab capital. In the last 10 years Russian regions have been initiated 18 respective deals with total announced value 9.62 Billion US dollars, but only third of them with total value of just 163 Million US dollars were successfully realized. The list intended projects includes: Astrakhan region government negotiated with Dubai World (state investment holding of UAE) two investment projects in 2008; Chelyabinsk government negotiated building of oil-refinery with Emirati Quality Energy Petro International Ltd.; Bashkortostan discussed with the Arab investors two joint ventures, while Omsk did it once; Government of Saha Republic took part and sponsored Annual Investment Meeting in Dubai where Memorandum of Cooperation with Investment Authority of Dubai was signed; Government of Sverdlovsk region organized panel discussion with the Arab investors twice during the regional forum Innoprom. Despite the fact that all abovementioned regions have good investment opportunities and quite moderate investment risks none of deals were successfully realized. The author concludes that these regions do not work systematically and consistently when it comes to the Arab investors. Efforts of the most regional authorities are spontaneous and depend on the short-term circumstances. On the contrary, Chechen Republic is characterized by intensive PR but fails to attract Arab FDI due to high investment risks. Only Tatarstan is distinguished by smart strategy towards the Arab investors. For last ten years 7 deals have been initiated with 6 of which have been realized successfully. Such a performance is not occasional. Firstly, since 2009 Tatarstan has been organizing annual Islamic business forum – KazanSummit. Secondly, Tatarstan ordered road map for development of the Islamic Finance in the region, and continually implements it. Thirdly, Tatarstan set up trade and investment representative in Dubai. Fourthly, Tatarstan opened Center for Partnership Banking which officially promotes Islamic Banking services in the region. Finally, the republic-owned bank – Ak Bars attracted 60 and 100 Million US dollars in 2011 and 2014 respectively from the Islamic capital markets. Both deals were structured as Murabaha – a popular Islamic banking instrument. Despite the fact that Tatarstan has not launched Sukuk yet, the author admits the pioneering role of the bank and Tatarstan government as a whole in the build-up of deeper Russian-Arab investment relationship. 

Keywords: Arab investment, GCC, Persian Gulf, murabaha, sukuk, Islamic Bank, Islamic finance, Tatarstan, Kazansummit 


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For citation:
Nagimova A. Raising Arab Capital: Experiences of Russian Regions. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 57-61. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-2-57-61

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