8th April 2014 will see the commencement of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) in Dubai which will see delegates from all over the world, including the Sakha Republic of Russia, for whom this meeting is an inaugural participation. Otherwise colloquially known as Yakutia, the Sakha Republic is located in far-east Russia and is the eight biggest region in the world, spanning an area of over three hundred thousand square kilometres.
The Sakha Republic delegation this year includes its president Mr. Yegor Borisov who, along with his team of designates, will be meeting His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Vice-president of UAE and the Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sultan Bin Mohammed al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah and His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed al Mansouri, Minister of Economy of UAE. These meetings are very significant high-level interactions which are expected to foster increased business and trade relations between the UAE and Sakha Republic with more investments on the part of the former in the latter’s economy.
Sakha Republic has long enjoyed a state of sustained economic activities which are reflected in the analyses published by several leading international leading rating agencies. It is also the only ‘far-eastern’ province whose investment and credit ratings have been confirmed by leading international leading rating agencies. In March 2014, Fitch Ratings corroborated the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) long-term foreign and local currency IDR at ‘BBB-‘, Short-term foreign currency IDR at ‘F3’ and national long-term rating at ‘AA+ (Rus)’ and have termed the outlook for the long-term ratings to be stable.
The sustained nature of economic prolificacy in Sakha Republic can be summarised as being due to the following reasons:
- Huge and extensive resources of natural gas amounting to about US$ three trillion in value
- Huge diamond reserves contributing to about 27% of diamond mining activity in the world
- Huge reserves of gold, coal, crude oil and natural gas amounting to about 52% of the region’s GDP
In addition to these riches, Sakha Republic is also rich in diverse plant and animal kingdom in about 8,00,000 lakes and nearly 7,00,000 rivers which has provided the region the resources to potentially manifest into a thriving hub of tourism whilst also preserving the sanctity of the ecology of the region.
President Borisov’s presence alongside the designation of other leading members therefore emphasises the investment portfolio that UAE can bring to the region. President Borisov has immense hopes for the enhanced trade relationship between Sakha Republic and UAE. “I think investors from the UAE will have a good opportunity to take part in investment projects such as the development of infrastructure, tourism, new technologies and the establishment of new industrial locations to produce unique jewellery products”, he has put across with no uncertainty coating his words. In addition, he also expressed, “I expect Dubai and the UAE to grow into a diamond trading hub.”
In 2013, the UAE had imported diamonds worth about US$ 68 million from Sakha Republic which is expected to be enhanced even more in the coming years. Especially considering that Dubai and the UAE have come to be the most strategically aligned region geography-wise connected the west with the east. The promise of more emphasised trade relation between Sakha Republic and UAE is well on the way to become a reality thanks to the inking of a significant agreement between the Republic’s governmental authorities and Sharjah Chamber of Trade and Commerce.
In addition to this agreement, the currently biggest diamond mining operator in Sakha Republic, the Alrosa Group, are also expected to sign a contractual accord with the Dubai Diamond Exchange at the AIM.
The intent of Sakha Republic at the AIM can be summarised in President Borisov’s own words as he explains, “The Sakha Republic (Yakutia) will present tourism, infrastructure and innovative projects at the AIM. We will also present the International Sports Games ‘Children of Asia’ that is known as a preliminary step for the Youth Olympic Games. It is gratifying that the Games have traditionally involved a team from the United Arab Emirates. And of course, we are proud to present a famous brand – Yakutian diamonds and the world-renowned company ‘Alrosa.’ By visiting our exhibition stand, you will truly enjoy diamonds.”