Sochi to Discuss Industrial Collaboration between Russia and Africa and Outlook for Economic Zones
Participants of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum, slated for 23–24 October 2019 in Sochi, will discuss the outlook and format for Russian-African industrial collaboration. The focus will be on areas of growth, joint long-term projects, and economic zones as an example of effective production localization.
One of the most promising types of Russian-African collaboration may come in the form of economic zones. Modern production chains are in the process of changing: production is moving towards end consumers, logistical and technological costs are decreasing, and the social component of projects is changing, which facilitates the development of local economies. These and other topics are up for expert consideration at the ‘New Forms of Cooperation between Russia and Africa: Opportunities for Special Economic Zones Based on the Project to Establish a Russian Industrial Zone in Egypt’ discussion panel on 23 October.
Participants will evaluate the conditions necessary for creating infrastructural “entry points” with preferential regimes for special (free) economic zones producing competitive, high-quality, high-tech products with advantages for local markets.
A Russian Industrial Zone is currently being created in Egypt at the East Port Said site of the Suez Canal Economic Zone and is a unique project involving governmental, state development institutions, and members of the business community. As of today, framework agreements have been concluded with 25 resident companies that include manufacturers of biochemicals and fertilizers, building materials and steel works, composite materials, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, oil and gas equipment, and port equipment among other things.
A 525-hectare production complex will be rolled out in stages, making it possible for Russian exporters and suppliers to localize capacities close to emerging markets in the Middle East and Africa. Residents will be able to take advantage of modern engineering and utility infrastructure and choose between designing their own buildings on the base site and developing existing production facilities. Tax, export and import custom duty, employee expenditure, and Suez Canal passage exemptions and concessions will be put in place for companies. 100% revenue repatriation will be provided without special requirements demanding the involvement of an Egyptian partner.
Russia 24 TV Channel Head of the Economic Programme Alexey Bobrovsky will moderate the session on new formats of cooperation and the creation of a Russian Industrial Zone in Egypt. Discussion participants include Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) Yehia Zaki, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Benedict Oramah, General Director of Russian Industries Overseas Egypt Ilya Pomigalov, CEO of the Russian Export Center Andrey Slepnev, and Chairman of the Russian-Egyptian Business Council Mikhail Orlov.
“Africa is currently of great interest to manufacturers and suppliers of Russian agricultural and special purpose machinery, companies involved in the maintenance and modernization of power plants, in oil production and transportation, and in the equipping of chemical and mining facilities”, Slepnev said. “We welcome the creation of the Russian Industrial Zone in Egypt as part of the International Cooperation and Export national project – the Russian Industrial Zone will accelerate the growth of Russian exports. Today, when construction of the industrial zone is set to begin, the Russian Export Center is finalizing plans with Egyptian partners. And though the national project calls for production in the Russian Industrial Zone to kick off in 2024, we know the zone’s first residents plan to start in 2022. The REC is involved in expanding cooperation between Russia and Africa in every possible way, creating convenient export support tools, supporting joint initiatives, and creating special export routes. We see ahead exceptional opportunities for Russia and Africa”.
The Russia–Africa Summit and the Economic Forum will be held 23–24 October in Sochi at the Sirius Park of Science and Art. The events are being organized by the Roscongress Foundation, with the Russian Export Center and Afreximbank co-organizing the Russia–Africa Economic Forum.
For a more detailed version of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum programme, please visit: https://summitafrica.ru/en/programm/