Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a meeting with heads of business councils on cooperation with African countries
Sergey Katyrin, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, opened the meeting by stating that the African market is competitive and difficult, and Russian business should work there thoroughly and systematically to succeed.
In the face of fundamentally new economic realities, business has to adjust strategies to work with foreign partners, seek new opportunities for its development, including in the traditionally friendly for Russia African direction.
"The Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has recently received many enquiries from regional chambers on the opportunities for cooperation between small and medium-sized businesses with Africa. Today's Africa requires new approaches from businesses to work, and from the government to provide long-term programs to support entrepreneurship and foreign economic activity," said Katyrin.
Igor Morozov, Chairman of AFROCOM, Russian Senator, spoke about the current activities of the organisation and its plans. One of the recent important results is the opening of offices in African countries, and an AFROCOM continental office has been opened in Addis Ababa, where the African Union is headquartered. Igor Morozov noted the importance of establishing a Russia-Africa trading house, a specialised investment fund to support entrepreneurs, as well as greater state support in general for the rapid development of Russian-African relations.
Deputy Director of the Department for Asia, Africa and Latin America, Ministry of Industry and Trade Yaroslav Tarasyuk and Deputy Director of the Department for Bilateral Cooperation of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade Anton Razlivaev spoke about the promotion of Russian interests on the African continent, noting that many current approaches to organizing work in this area should be reviewed.
Sergey Katyrin noted that since many of the exhibitions planned by ministries in Europe have been cancelled due to recent events, the funds and resources allocated to them should be used to hold exhibitions in African countries. However, we have to work fast, as it takes at least six months to organise any exhibition.
Participating in the discussion also were Evgenia Mikhailova, Director of VEB.Russia Business Unit, Pavel Yakovlev, Chairman of Russia-South Africa Business Council, Victor Chemodanov, Chairman of Russia-Sudan Business Council, Konstantin Anastasiadi, Deputy Chairman of Russia-Nigeria Business Council, Rinat Gizatulin, Deputy Chairman of Russia-Zimbabwe Business Council, Petr Karakchiev, Head of ALROSA Business Council and others.
Participants in the meeting noted that there is a need for Russian banks in Africa, and they talked about clearing banks that would conduct transactions in local currencies as well. Regular exhibitions, business missions and commodity hubs working for several countries at once are also needed.
Sergey Katyrin summarised the event by saying that the proposals of the business councils supported by the CCI RF should be prepared and consolidated in a single document to be handed over to the authorities.