Russia targets to more than double its trade volumes with Africa to $40 billion in five years even though its business ties with the continent remain largely centred on defence pacts.
President Vladimir Putin made the announcement at the first Russia-Africa Summit held in Sochi last week, where more than 40 African heads of state attended. Trade between Russia and Africa is currently about $20 billion, just about 10 per cent of China’s $200 billion.
“We plan to expand trade and economic co-operation. We believe that we can bring it to higher levels and reach at least $40 billion,” said President Putin in his key address to the Summit.
Moscow has cemented military co-operation deals with 30 African countries with which President Putin said there was a running “technical co-operation,” making the target achievable if more countries on the continent take up Russian arms.
“Our military and military technical co-operation is aimed at strengthening African armed forces’ combat capability,” he said.
“Russia has MTC agreements with over 30 countries, which we supply with a wide range of armaments and equipment. Part of these supplies are provided free of charge.”