The Russia-Africa summit in Sochi has come to an end with a sea of African leaders and the Russian elite, including President Vladimir Putin in attendance.
Below are the key takeaways by top Russian stakeholders from the first ever Russia-Africa summit.
1- Africa is attractive for investment and trade
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“A promising area of cooperation involves attracting big Russian investors in industries strategic for many African countries, such as agriculture, mining or processing raw material,” Andrey Kostin, President and Chairman of the Management Board, VTB Bank.
“Africa is a large consumer of agricultural produce. Last year, the volume of our export exceeded USD 4.6 billion,” Sergey Yushin, Head of the Executive Committee, National Meat Association.
“We watch Africa closely and with affection. We see the continent’s great opportunities and readiness to cooperate with Russian companies,” Mushegh Sahakyan, Director for International Development, Yandex.Taxi.
2- Russia has the right technologies to develop the African region
“The key objective is to take the level of life on the African continent up to the global standards of developed countries. Its basic aspect is food security, while the ultimate priority includes providing a variety of good and healthy food. It is paramount that all African residents have access to such ration. It is a strategic goal, and we are able and willing to help our African partners with it,” Dmitry Mazepin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, URALCHEM.
“Russia is the world’s only market where local online services win over their American rivals in an open and fair competition,” Mushegh Sahakyan, Director for International Development, Yandex.Taxi.
“It is the synergy of using digital technologies that gives the positive effect that we see in our country’s budgetary segment,” Alexey Overchuk, Deputy Commissioner, Federal Tax Service of Russia.
“Russia is the pioneer of nuclear energy. The world’s first nuclear power plant was launched in no other place than here 65 years ago, and throughout the course of history we have been the world’s leader in developing innovative nuclear technologies. <…> We work around the globe and pay a special attention to the African continent, which is undoubtfully an area of growth,” Kirill Komarov, First Deputy General Director, Director of Development and International Business Unit, ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation.
“Existing competencies of Russian Railways will be demanded in Africa. African countries are about to reach leading social and economic performance. By 2050, over one third of global population increase will occur in African countries. Keeping this pace, ensuring the quality of economic growth and life is only possible through developing railways. This has been proved by the world’s experience,” Oleg Belozerov, Chief Executive Officer – Chairman of the Executive Board, Russian Railways.
“In our country, vast territories belong to the zone of risky agriculture, therefore over the decades Russian companies have accumulated unique agricultural competencies. <…> Our companies are becoming primary partners in the African continent in both produce and technology export,” Dmitry Mazepin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, URALCHEM.
“We possess colossal information on African countries’ geology. No other country in the world has this information. We boast 40 years of experience in 26 African countries, which is fairly big. We understand how complicated geological aspects can be tackled. We bring new technologies. <…> This allows us to create new jobs and infrastructure and be the cornerstone for the economy of whole regions and countries, which apart from other things plays a major role in export and impacts social stability,” Sergey Gorkov, General Director, Chairman of the Management Board, Rosgeologia.
3- New challenges and risks
“We look at the world around us. We look at the new digital economy challenges and realize that government agencies in charge of state revenue should meet these challenges and be one step ahead of them. This concerns value added chains – we are getting new ones now; the role of intangible assets is growing; new virtual transborder goods and services, as well cryptocurrencies appear. These are the new challenges that tax services all over the world face,” Alexey Overchuk, Deputy Commissioner, Federal Tax Service of Russia.
Developing legal environment for cooperation
“Potential partnership with the countries of the African region is based on developing the contractual basis of our bilateral cooperation in healthcare,” Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.
“Successful development of relations requires lower non-tariff barriers, that is why we count on well-balanced phytosanitary requirements set by importing countries, as well as clear, precise and transparent business rules. <…> Government policy aims to deliver organic, environment friendly and safe produce,” Sergey Yushin, Head of the Executive Committee, National Meat Association.
5- Cooperation in innovative technologies
“Joint development of technologies with the use of artificial intelligence has a great potential for our cooperation. Artificial intelligence technologies develop swiftly and will help resolve the most pressing issues impacting African countries and will result in the growth and development of the most important segments of the economy,” Alexander Vedyakhin, First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank.
“Russia has a high level of digitalization, talented engineers, that is why we plan to invest in Russia in the future,” Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, Chief Executive Officer, Naspers Ltd.