Russia-Africa trade has major potential – Putin

Economic cooperation reached $18 billion in 2022, the president has said

Russia’s trade with African nations is growing based on mutual trust and goodwill, President Vladimir Putin has said in an article released ahead of the Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg.

The second Russia-Africa Summit is scheduled for July 27-28 and takes place alongside the Economic and Humanitarian Forum, which is expected to provide a platform for business meetings and panel sessions.

“I would like to note with satisfaction that Russia’s trade turnover with African countries increased in 2022 and reached almost $18 billion,” Putin wrote in the article, which was published on the Kremlin website on Monday. “However, we are all well aware that the potential of our trade and economic partnership is much higher.”

According to Putin, Russian companies are interested in working more actively on the continent in a variety of areas, including technology, geological exploration, and the energy industry. The Russian leader also cited the chemical industry, mining, transport engineering, and agriculture and fishing as areas to potentially increase cooperation.

“The changes taking place in the world require the search for solutions related to the establishment of new transport and logistical chains, the formation of a monetary and financial system, and mechanisms of mutual settlements that are safe and free from unfavorable external impacts,” Putin wrote.

The Russian leader insisted that despite Western sanctions, Moscow will continue its efforts to provide supplies of grain, food products, fertilizers, and other goods to Africa. “We highly value and will further develop the full spectrum of economic ties with Africa – with individual states as well as regional integration associations and, naturally, with the African Union. We welcome this organization’s strategic course towards further economic integration and the formation of the African Continental Free Trade Area,” Putin stated.
We are ready to build pragmatic, mutually beneficial relations, including within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. We are also willing to step up cooperation with other regional integration organizations on the continent,” he added.

The article noted that Moscow had set up bilateral intergovernmental commissions for trade, economic, scientific, and technological cooperation with numerous countries on the continent, and highlighted that the network of Russian embassies and trade missions in Africa will be expanded. Further instruments are being actively developed to better structure economic relations and make them more dynamic, Putin said.

Russia’s foreign trade turnover with African countries could double by 2030, according to the Ministry of Economic Development.