Economic Integration Set to Be among Key Themes of Russia–Africa Economic Forum

One of the main events of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum will be a session entitled ‘The Eurasian Economic Union and Africa: Trends and Opportunities to Develop Integrated Processes and Collaborate’, which is dedicated to promoting best practice exchange between countries and developing mutually beneficial cooperation. The session is due to take place on 23 October as part of the business programme pillar entitled ‘Forging Economic Ties’.

Among the participants in the discussion will be Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Tigran Sargsyan; President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation Sergey Katyrin; Secretary for Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade of the Republic of Mauritius Usha Chandnee Dwarka-Canabady; and Secretary General of the East African Community Libérat Mfumukeko.

Over the last few decades, processes of economic integration have become a megatrend for the development of regions across the world, helping their member states to successfully integrate into the global economy and minimize risks arising from crises in different economic sectors. The Eurasian Economic Union and African countries have accumulated a wealth of skills. Effective dialogue and best practice exchange can help optimize processes of economic integration and form a basis for cooperation across a whole spectrum of issues. Experience solving migration issues and problems of both employment and the digitalization of society presents an opportunity to find common ground and ensure synergy in these spheres, as well as in a range of other spheres.

“The African Union is a large market which is undergoing active development. Its rate of growth is testament to the fact that the continent is becoming a serious economic player in the global arena. And today is the right time to find niches where joint comparative advantages can be implemented. We are taking the first steps toward institutionalizing relations with the African Union. Using the platform of the Sochi Summit, a memorandum of cooperation will be signed between the Eurasian Economic Commission and the African Union. As for the development of cooperation with African countries, we are taking an active lead in negotiations to conclude a free-trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and Egypt, a country which is currently chairing the African Union,” said Tigran Sargysan.

The Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum is due to take place in Sochi on 23–24 October 2019 at the Sirius Park of Science and Art. Events are organized by the Roscongress Foundation. Russian Export Centre and Afreximbank are co-organizing the Forum.

For a more detailed version of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum programme, please visit: https://summitafrica.ru/en/programm/.

To participants in the Russia–Africa Economic Forum

Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you at the opening of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum.

The rich history of relations between Africa and Russia has never seen an event of a similar scale. Members of government agencies and business community, and experts are meeting at this Forum to substantively discuss the current status and prospects of cooperation and a wide range of topical issues of the world economy.

Today, the countries of Africa are well on their way towards social, economic, scientific and technological development, and are playing a significant role in international affairs. They are strengthening mutually beneficial integration processes within the African Union and other regional and sub regional organizations across the continent.

In recent years, the traditionally friendly ties of partnership between Russia and Africa have gained new momentum, both at a bilateral level and in various multilateral formats. In addition to preserving our past experience of successful cooperation, we have also managed to make significant new steps forward. Trade and investment are growing dynamically, and new joint projects are under way in extractive industries, agriculture, healthcare, and education. Russian companies are ready to offer their scientific and technological developments to their African partners, and share their experience of upgrading energy, transport and communications infrastructures.

I hope that the Forum will help identify new areas and forms of cooperation, put forward promising joint initiatives that will bring the collaboration between Russia and Africa to a qualitatively new level and contribute to the development of our economies and the prosperity of our peoples.

I wish the Forum’s participants fruitful work and all the best.

Vladimir Putin

The Russia–Africa Summit, which is taking place in Sochi on 23–24 October 2019, encapsulates the historically friendly relations between the African continent and the Russian Federation. This Summit carries great significance as it is the first of its kind to emerge during a period of major global and international transformations. In response to the aspirations of the people it is representing, the Summit intends to build a comprehensive framework for expanding Russian–African relations into broader horizons of joint cooperation across different fields.

The African nations and Russia share a common understanding of international relations, based on the principles of respect for the rule of international law, equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of states, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. Both sides affirm their commitment to support multilateral actions to oppose new international threats, be they terrorism and extremism in all their forms, or declining growth rates. The two sides share a firm conviction regarding the importance of developing trade flows and supporting mutual investment in such a way as to ensure security, peace and development for the African and Russian people.

African countries have huge potential and opportunities that will allow them, once efforts to streamline their economies have been achieved, to emerge as real global players. In recent years, the nations of this continent have achieved major successes spanning the political, economic, social and administrative spheres. Africa has flourished in terms of growth over the past decade, reaching a continent-wide growth rate of 3.55% in 2018.

The African Union Summit, which was held in Niger in July 2019, continued the efforts of the African countries and saw the African Continental Free Trade Agreement come into force, along with its operational instruments. The agreement is one of the key objectives of Agenda 2063, an African development strategy that has been created to address the African people’s desire for prosperity and decent living standards.

These successes are opening up wide-ranging prospects for cooperation between African countries and the Russian Federation, and confirm the determination of African governments and their people to cooperate with multiple partners in order to establish mutually beneficial relations.

With this in mind, we express our hopes that the Russia–Africa Summit will help in the establishment of constructive strategic relations, based on partnership between two sides across various fields, and in the service of fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the African people and their friends in Russia.

President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Abdelfattah ALSISI