Russia and Côte d’Ivoire Discuss Business Relations and Participation in Russia–Africa Summit
Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation Anton Kobyakov met with Vice-President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire Daniel Kablan Duncan at the 2019 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. They discussed the Republic’s participation in the Forum and the Russia—Africa Summit to be held in Sochi in October 2019.
The parties agreed to form a working group to be made up of representatives of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and the Roscongress Foundation. The working group will be responsible for developing a roadmap for organizing investment and trading cooperation. The parties will create a list of priority industries and target projects and another of goods and services for export-import operations.
Kobyakov noted that Russia attaches great importance to deepening cooperation with its African partners in trade and investment that includes the involvement of Russian companies in the implementation of projects in various sectors. «In 2018, trade between the Russian Federation and Africa increased from USD 17.4 billion to USD 20.4 billion, domestic exports grew by 18.1%, and imports to Russia from the continent grew by 11.1%. Key Russian trading partners include such North African countries as Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, as well as the Republic of South Africa, located on the other end of the continent. Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, and Tunisia accounted for the lion’s share of Russian exports in 2018, while South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, and Tunisia dominated imports», Kobyakov said.
Vice-President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire Daniel Kablan Duncan underlined the strengthening of bilateral relations between Russia and Côte d’Ivoire: «2017 marked a half-century since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries. We enjoy friendly relations that encompass many areas of interaction, including political dialogue, security, trade, economic and technical military ties, energy, and scientific, cultural, and cultural exchanges. Cote d’Ivoire is one of Russia’s largest trading partners in sub-Saharan Africa, and the beginning of 2019 has been marked by a significant increase in mutual trade. The outlook for cooperation in energy seems promising. The development of gas production is associated with capital-intensive deep-sea projects (more than 3,000 meters), and therefore we are interested in involving a major Russian company in the development of projects of this nature. The processing of agricultural products could also be included in a list of key areas of trade and investment cooperation with Russia».
A key item on the meeting agenda was the upcoming Russia—Africa Summit, which will be held on 24 October in Sochi under the co-chairmanship of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Chairperson of the African Union. This is the first event in the history of Russian—African relations to invite the heads of all African states along with the leaders of major sub-regional associations and organizations.
«We are particularly pleased to learn that President of Côte d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara will be participating in the Russia—Africa Summit. Even more significant is the fact that the upcoming visit of Cote d’Ivoire’s head will be the first in the history of bilateral relations between our countries. Key for the development of bilateral trade and investment cooperation will be the search for and joint development of key areas for a mutually beneficial partnership between Russia and Côte d’Ivoire», Kobyakov said.
Kobyakov also invited a large business delegation from the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire to visit the Russia—Africa Economic Forum, which will be held from 23 to 24 October 2019 in Sochi as part of the Russia—Africa Summit, which will be attended by African heads of state, representatives of Russian, African and international business and government agencies, and representatives of African integration associations. The Forum is expected to result in the signing of a significant number of trade, economic, and investment agreements.