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Ministry of economic development of the Russian Federation

Putin considers it possible to double Russia-Africa trade in 4-5 years


 Russian President Vladimir Putin sees the possibility of doubling the trade between Russia and Africa in 4-5 years, he said at a plenary meeting of the Russia-Africa economic forum on Wednesday.

"I believe that it is within our power to at least double the volume of trade in the next 4-5 years," Putin said.

"We are now exporting more agricultural products to the markets of third countries than weapons," Putin added. "Weapons reach $15 bln, and agricultural products have already reached, in my opinion, the mark of $25 bln. Therefore, we have very good development potential, there are things to discuss, all this allows us to expect further growth of trade figures," the president said.

According to the Russian leader, the integration processes developing in Africa provide additional opportunities for cooperation. "We support establishment of close working contacts between the African Union Commission and the Eurasian Economic Commission, which are signing a memorandum of understanding tomorrow," he said.

Putin also announced Russia's intention to expand its network of sales offices in Africa, as well as establish new contacts, and support business. According to him, the work of the Coordinating Committee on Economic Cooperation with the African Countries, established under the auspices of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has proven itself. The president said that this structure assists Russian entrepreneurs in developing the markets of African countries and helps businesses in implementing new joint investment projects.

"Of course, we will support such plans at the state level," Putin assured. He cited the concerns of Gazprom and Lukoil, which are implementing oil and gas projects in Africa, Alrosa - a company that develops diamond deposits, and Yandex, which helps African states solve information security issues and develop a digital economy. Putin also added that Rosatom was ready to offer African partners a "ready-to-operate" nuclear industry and construction of research centers based on multipurpose reactors.

Putin added that creation of an industrial zone is being completed in Egypt - a large platform in the economic zone of the Suez Canal, where Russian companies will be able to localize their production and capacities.

On October 23-24, the resort city of Sochi is hosting the Russia-Africa Summit, co-chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egypt’s head of state Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The leaders of all 54 African countries have been invited to come, and at least 40 of them have already confirmed their participation. Eight major African integration associations and organizations are also involved in the event. On the summit’s sidelines, an economic forum is taking place, which will be attended by the continent’s heads of state, and representatives of the business community and government agencies. The Roscongress Foundation is the organizer of the event, and TASS is the official photo host agency of the summit and economic forum.

Source: TASS

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