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

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 23, 2019: Russia's President Vladimir Putin addresses a plenary session of the 2019 Russia-Africa Economic Forum at the Sirius Park of Science and Art. Mikhail Metzel/TASS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SOCHI, Oct 23, 2019, TASS. 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, reported the TASS.

“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.

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