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More and more Russian exporters and importers want to “explore the African continent”

Perceived as an exporter of resources, IT services and food products, Russia is always welcome in Africa, a Russian official observed to Sputnik. According to him, the last Russia-Africa summit is already bearing fruit, pushing Russian exporters to turn more and more towards the African continent.

The influence of the Russia-Africa summit is already starting to be felt, Maxim Tchereсhnev, member of the General Council of the Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia) organization, told Sputnik Africa.

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“The most important effect is […] the change in the agenda of exporters as well as their desire to go out into African markets,” he assured on the sidelines of the Open Africa forum currently taking place in Moscow.

And to cite the figures of a survey carried out among exporters and importers, according to which 36% of those questioned “wish to explore the African continent, which is 1.5 times more than the 27% wishing to enter the Arab world “.

“So the most palpable result is the desire and availability, as well as the removal of emotional barriers for Russian businesses,” he concluded.

Priorities for Africa

African countries have always been open to cooperation, and they will always be happy to welcome a Russian company, continued Mr. Tchereshnev. He explained this by the fact that Russia is perceived in Africa as an exporter of food products, IT services, and resources, as well as an importer of their resources and agricultural products.

“Agriculture will always be the priority for Africa,  as well as everything related to food supply. These are key issues. China continues to actively invest in roads and electrification,” added Mr.Chereshnev.

An “encouraging” trend

Also within the framework of the forum, organized by Delovaya Rossiya, another member of its General Council, Achot Danielian, reported on discussions on potential investment projects between Russia and Africa.

“Russian investments in Africa are not very impressive, but the trend is really good, encouraging. By the end of the year, we will see real figures and investments.”

He added that Russia mainly invests in countries to which it is linked by traditionally friendly relations, namely Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Algeria, and Egypt.

The priorities of the African continent

On September 14, the Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia) organization set up the Open Africa forum, which brought together more than 100 entrepreneurs and business representatives from Russia and more than 10 African countries. During three thematic sessions and B2B meetings, several points were discussed. They concern the deepening of trade and economic cooperation, as well as the expansion of investment interaction and cooperation in priority sectors for the economies of the two countries. African participants designated the investment sector and the development of production as priorities.

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