Andrey Slepnev, Director General of Russian Export Center JSC, who has participated in the plenary session of the Russia-Africa Forum in Sochi, says that Africa offers Russia unique business opportunities, and announces the creation of the trade mechanism for operations with African countries worth $ 5 billion. The Presidents of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and the President of the Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, spoke at the session.
Andrey Slepnev noted that the African continental free trade zone would facilitate unlocking the potential of cooperation with Russia. REC’s leader recalled the experience of the European Union and that of the Eurasian Economic Union. In the Eurasian Economic Union, the trade volume increased 40% annually in two years. According to Mr Slepnev, the absence of customs borders and adjusted legislation facilitated the development of mutual infrastructural and industrial projects.
He added that Russian companies already carrying out their activities in Africa. In particular, he mentioned that REC supports the projects on the development of the railway infrastructure and the Russian Industrial Zone in Egypt.
REC’s leader also mentioned a platform to be used to finance trade operations between Russia and Africa. The platform is powered by REC, Sberbank, VEB.RF, and Gemcorp Capital LLP. It will ensure trade operations worth $ 5 billion and cover 10 African countries. Slepnev noted that the platform would ensure the trade activities discussed by the participants at the Russia-Africa Forum.