Yesterday, over 120 representatives from Russian business and government discussed the environment of Russian export to Africa, with the aim of suggesting amendments to legislation and the support mechanism in general. The discussion was held online at the interactive webinar «Prospects of Russian Non-Commodity Export to Africa. As Seen by Business», organized by the Federation Council of Russia, AFROCOM (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia), and Business Russia Association.
«We need to upgrade the existing government support mechanism,» said Igor Morozov, Chairman of AFROCOM and a senator of the Federation Council of Russia, in his opening speech.
We perform just a limited number of actions, which is much different from China, India, and other countries promoting their large-scale initiatives for export support, and that makes us [Russia] uncompetitive. Since the Summit in Sochi in 2019 gave a powerful sign of hope for Russia’s return to the African leaders, we need to work out a new approach. First and foremost in terms of government support.Igor Morozov, Chairman of AFROCOM
Lack of financial support was stated as one of the most severe and frequent challenges faced by Russian business targeting Africa. Currently, the Russian Export Centre can not provide support to all of them, which narrows the path for export and slows down the growth of bilateral trade.
That is inconsistent with the goal set by President of Russia Vladimir Putin, — to double Russia-Africa trade by 2024, the participants mentioned. The REC itself mentioned that the deals worth $272 million received their support in the first nine months of 2020 (Russian trade with African countries only).
Lack of financial support was stated as one of the most severe and frequent challenges faced by Russian business targeting Africa.
Establishing communication with reliable partners in Africa is another challenge, which was mentioned by Evgeny Teplyakov, member of the General Council of Business Russia and CEO of Elcomplus. Others agreed that there is no clear route for Russian exporters to follow if they want to enter the African market. Where do they go first? A Russian Ministry, the Embassy of an African country or the Russian one, or to a Business Council? Igor Morozov mentioned, that AFROCOM could assist in solving such problems and was in a position to recommend reliable contacts.
AFROCOM and Business Russia Association will revise the proposals developed by webinar participants and present them on November 27 at a round table at the Federation Council of Russia.