Russia–Africa Economic Forum to Feature Major Business Matching Platform

A major platform for meetings between representatives of Russian and African business will function on the sidelines of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum on 23–24 October. The business matching event, which is being initiated by the Roscongress Foundation, the Russian Export Center (REC) and Afreximbank, will be held at the Main Media Centre of Sochi Olympic Park as part of the Forum’s business programme. Businessmen will be able to register for the event using a special online platform in their personal web office.

“The integration of this special business matching event into the business programme of the Russia–Africa Forum is our response to the high level of mutual interest expressed by the Russian and African sides in finding opportunities to implement joint projects. Joining forces with our long-standing partner Afreximbank we will provide business participants with a universal tool for making connections, scheduling meetings, and further discussing opportunities for cooperation. Africa is extremely promising and, according to our forecasts, the volume of trade between Russia and Africa will double in the next three years,” Russian Export Centre General Director Andrey Slepnev said.

In addition, the REC Group plans to sign a number of cooperation agreements with Russian clients and interested African counterparties at the Forum. The agreements will be substantial and concern a number of areas, in particular the construction of infrastructure, energy projects, and engineering, although the final list will only become clear on the eve of the Forum after all the procedures for negotiating conditions and participants have been completed.

“More and more companies are taking a look at the markets of African countries in the context of developing their own foreign trade activities. And we, the REC group, as a State-owned development institute to support of the non-commodity exports industry are ready to utilize all possible financial and non-financial measures of support to promote export and implement joint projects. This all suggests that we are becoming agents of economic diplomacy on the African continent by expanding exports and opening up the African market for Russian goods,” Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation Anton Kobyakov said.

The Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum will take place on 23–24 October 2019 on the territory of Sochi Olympic Park. The business programme events will bring together more than 3,000 business representatives from Russia and Africa. The Roscongress Foundation, Russian Export Centre and Afreximbank are co-organizing the Forum.

The expanded version of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum programme is available here.

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