By Lucy Ogalue
The Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has expressed optimism that trade between Africa and Russian Federation will increase from the current 22 billion dollars to more than 40 billion dollars in the next three years.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, Afreximbank’s President told newsmen in Moscow that the bank also expects the collaboration between both parties to help improve infrastructure in Africa.
“ The purpose of coming here is to create the opportunity for business relations between Russia and African businessmen and women.
“We expect that this will make it possible for trade to go on, we hope that this will make it possible for investments to go on including infrastructure in Africa.
“We expect that two way trade between africa and Russia should grow from the current level of about 22 billion dollars to more than 40 billion in about three years.
“We expect that given what we know to be the expertise of the Russians, that we will see Russian investments in manufacturing, petrochemical, mining, cyber security, medicine and so on.
“This is a new relationship we are trying to develop so these are early days but we know that this will be a fast growing relationship.
“The two way trade between Africa and Russia rose by 70 per cent between 2017 and 2018 and with the kind of attention being paid to trade and investment now, I expect double digit growth in trade in the coming years .’’
Oramah said it was the second time the bank would be holding its annual meeting outside Africa, adding that the first was done in China in 2011.
He said following that annual meeting , there was a strengthening of the relationship between the bank and the Chinese entities, and business flows between the Chinese and Africa increased substantially.
According to him, we are here at the invitation of the Russian Government.
“ The Russian Federation has made a strategic decision to increase trade and economic relations between Africa, one of the key things they did was to join the Afreximbank shareholding through the Russian Export Center in 2017.
“So, since the past two years there has been an increase in trade and investment activity between Russia and Africa .We will be working very actively with Russian Export Centre to promote the trade.
“And we hope that the annual meetings will provide the opportunity for many of the African businesses to know more about the Russians and for the Russians we are visiting to know more about Africa.
“As experienced when we went to China, we look forward to an increased flow of business following this meeting.’’ (NAN)