Pace of Russian and African Business Development to Be Discussed at Russia–Africa Economic Forum in Sochi
The session ‘Business Associations in Russia and Africa: A Starting Point for Long-Term Business Partnership’ will be held on 24 October as part of the business programme of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum and will focus on the work of special organizations that promote the development of trade and economic relations between Russia and African countries as well as special aspects of joint activities on this market.
There has been strong momentum recently in relations between representatives of the business communities in Russia and African countries. In particular, trade between Russia and Africa has skyrocketed by roughly thirteen-fold over the past two decades – from USD 5 billion in 2001 to more than USD 20 billion in 2018.
Despite the growth in statistical indicators, there are several obstacles to working on the African market. One problematic issue is how to get a concession or contract for the supply of goods and services in African countries. Securing such a document requires serious informational work and a large number of presentations of the merits of the products or services. This requires vast financial resources. In addition, a major barrier hindering greater cooperation between the Russian and African business communities is a lack of awareness regarding the current state of markets, along with trade and investment opportunities. There is also an insufficient level of trust towards potential partners.
To help small and medium-sized businesses establish the process of cooperation with African countries, business associations are being created to carry out the full cycle of preparatory work for entering the foreign market. These organizations can both serve the interests of entrepreneurs, and also guarantee their reliability and integrity
The session ‘Business Associations in Russia and Africa: A Starting Point for Long-Term Business Partnership’ will feature speeches by industry organizations and associations that actively collaborate with their Russian partners and play a significant role in the development of relations between Russia and African countries, including Jean-Marie Ackah, President of the General Confederation of Enterprises of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire; Agostinho Vuma, President of the Confederation of Business Associations of the Republic of Mozambique; Josue Madjitoloum, President of the National Business Patronage Organization of the Republic of the Chad; Richard Ngatia, President of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Faman Toure, President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire; Melaku Ezezew, President of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association (ECCSA); and Johannes Sebulela, Founder and President of the African Entrepreneurs Council.
Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Sergey Katyrin commented on the importance of holding such a dialogue at the Forum: “Russian and African Entrepreneurs see considerable potential for the mutually beneficial development of trade, economic, industrial, and investment ties. The job of the chambers of commerce is to provide business with reliable business information, conduct marketing analysis of the market, arrange for participation in the exhibition, find a partner, verify its reliability, and much more. We understand the needs of business and help them. That is why entrepreneurs view business associations as a natural partner in making decisions on entering a new market, conducting specific negotiations, and promoting their interests. I am certain that the discussion held as part of this thematic session will help take cooperation between the business associations of Russia and Africa to a whole new level”.
The Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum will take place on 23–24 October in Sochi at the Sirius Park of Science and Art. The events are being organized by the Roscongress Foundation, and the co-organizers of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum are Russian Export Center and Afreximbank.
For a more detailed version of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum programme, please visit: https://summitafrica.ru/en/programm/