Dubai: DP World is evaluating three sites in Russia as part of a joint venture it set up earlier this year to invest $2 billion (Dh7.34 billion) in the country, the port operator’s chairman said on Sunday.
DP World and the state-owned Russian Direct Investment Fund agreed in January to establish DP World Russia to invest in upgrading Russian port facilities. DP World holds an 80 per cent stake in the joint venture.
“We have looked at three locations in Russia. Vladivostok in the far east where we had experience. We are looking at the Baltic, and we are looking at the Black Sea,” DP World Group chairman and chief executive Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem told reporters at a press conference at a Dubai hotel.
DP World exited the Russian market in 2012 when it sold a minority stake in the Vostochny Port, which is located on the country’s east coast near Vladivostok.
Bin Sulayem said that while “no decision” has been made to invest in any of the sites, “we want to come into the Russian market.”
He did not name the specific locations DP World is looking into.
“We are still identifying locations,” he said.
DP World Russia was set up four months after Bin Sulayem met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a conference in Vladivostok. Russia has granted Vladivostok and nearby cities free zone status in an effort to spur growth in the country’s east.
“We are very optimistic about the Russian market,” he said.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on April 12 Russia’s economy will shrink 1 per cent this year, a revision on January’s estimate of a 0.6 per cent contraction.
DP World is also looking at a $2.5 billion port Georgia plans to build along the Black Sea in Anaklia, about 230 kilometres from the nearest Russian coastal city. Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili asked DP World to look at the viability of the port in a meeting with Bin Sulayem in Dubai last week.