MOSCOW, June 19./TASS/. About a thousand delegates from Africa will attend the Russia-Africa economic conference in June, the Russian Export Center's (REC) chief Andrei Slepnev told TASS.
“As a part of Afreximbank’s agenda, an open Russia-Africa economic conference will be held. Up to 1,000 delegates from the African side are expected to attend, including a large number of high-ranking speakers and participants,” he said, adding that by now the participation of the African Union, ministers and government officials representing Uganda, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and other countries has been confirmed. Moreover, the annual meeting of Afreximbank shareholders will take place in Moscow on June 18-22, 2019.
"The conference will address the issues related to a number of sectors, including railway infrastructure, agriculture, agricultural equipment, digital economy, healthcare and education. We expect this to lay the foundation for substantive agreements that will be reached by October, during a large-scale political summit "Russia - Africa" and the economic forum," Slepnev pointed out. At the same time, more than 3,000 foreign delegates, as well as 2,000 Russian representatives, will take part in the events.
REC predicts the volume of Russian-African trade relations will double within the next 3-4 years. "The Russian Export Center maintains a close partnership with Afreximbank and has already entered the first deals that we are jointly implementing on the African continent. We intend to increase the volumes [export support — TASS], and I am sure that this year’s events will certainly make a big contribution, and we foresee the volume of the Russian-African trade ties in the next three to four years doubling," said Slepnev.
Basic financial instruments of supporting trade between Russia and Africa can be direct loans to foreign buyers (including those secured by the sovereign guarantee of the borrowing country) and loans to banks of foreign buyers under the insurance coverage Exiar, loans to sovereign borrowers, financing receivables against export earnings. In 2018, the volume of export-supported Russian products to African countries amounted to $ 2,47 bln. The main partners are Egypt, South Africa, Zambia, Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria and Kenya.
About Russia's industrial zone in Egypt
REC explained that decisions on the choice of locations for industrial zones are made by the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, based on an analysis of the most promising sectors of Russian exports, as well as taking into account the preferences and benefits the Russian companies might gain from those. REC expects that this year about 100 agreements on the intention to participate the Russian industrial zone project in Egypt will be concluded.
“We are the managing structure in this project, we are cooperating with the Russian enterprises. About 20 agreements have already been signed, we aim for 100 agreements this year. We see that interest is higher than we have expected,” Slepnev reported. Earlier, the Russian government approved the rules for granting budget subsidies to the Russian Export Center for the establishment and operation of the industrial zone project in Egypt.
The intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Egypt, which regulates all the details, was signed on May 23, 2018. The project envisages creation of a special zone with a simpler tax regime for Russian resident enterprises, the industrial zone will be located in the east of Port Said.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade's forecasts, the implementation of the project will take up to 13 years, however, by 2026, the resident companies will be able to produce $ 3.6 billion worth of products annually. Russian companies will get rental holidays, preferential tariffs for energy resources, a special preferential tax regime, as well as a site prepared in advance. The first companies will come to the zone simultaneously with the start of construction, which is scheduled for 2019.
It was reported earlier that the government's planned investment into the industrial zone's primary infrastructure wiould account for $190 mln, and total private investment volume for the project's period is estimated at $ 7 bln. The industrial zone's establishment is included in the national project "International Cooperation and export".
The projects in Africa
The Russian Expo Center is also working on a number of projects with Afreximbank in various African regions. For example, financing the supply of Russian-made land transport vehicles, as well as projects for the construction and modernization of industrial infrastructure in Zambia, Angola, mining projects in Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone. The REC notes the interest of local companies in drawing Russian partners to projects in the oil industry (pipelines, refining) and the rural agriculture.
Afreximbank was founded in 1993 in Abuja, Nigeria with the authorized capital of $ 5 bln. The main objectives of the bank are the development of trade between African countries and abroad. The headquarters is located in Cairo.
The Russian Export Center is a state institution for the support of non-primary goods, providing Russian exporters with a wide range of financial and non-financial support. The Russian Export Center was established within the structure of VEB.RF.