Discussions to develop mutually beneficially cooperation between Russia and African countries. New mechanisms to support and strengthen interregional cooperation
We are trying to develop mutually beneficial cooperation in our dialogue with Russia. We need to take a deep thought about potential mechanisms that could help achieve development goals and change in reality. When people talk about creating a free trade zone in Africa, they need to mention a different level of infrastructure. It needs to be addressed. <…> This is why I believe – I may not be always right – we need this talk; we need our people to see the real change. We are the continent that can be potentially very rich, but we are actually only rich in war and conflict. We have weapons, but we do not have the plants that make these weapons. Yet, the weapons keep coming. This is the question we are raising today. We need to take a look at those problems from a different perspective and to hold discussions that can really ensure change in our continent — Felix Moloua, Prime Minister of the Central African Republic.
Payment in national currencies is an important topic. The main issue here is problems in trade flow. Russia’s export to African countries significantly exceeds import. However, now when many of our Western partners have left the Russian market, I think new opportunities open up for our African partners — Irina Abramova, Director, Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
We need new improved government support measures. First of all, we need an investment fund or a direct investment fund for Africa. This is the way all the major players work in Africa. We need a bank that would finance small and medium businesses from African regions with start-ups. This is extremely important. Why? Because regional banks are not capable of doing this. Our businesses that are ready to go for Africa experience a huge debt load. What is even more important, the Russian Export Center needs to have an opportunity to finance regional exhibitions. It is absolutely clear, because on average every Russian region has 30–100 businesses that are ready for this type of activity, but we need to finance exhibitions — Igor Morozov, Member of the Committee for Economy Policy of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation.
We need to create a stock space and a stock market for the goods. It goes without saying that we need a new payment unit, which may keep our trade and economic relations safe from unilateral actions taken by the states that have monopolized the right for reserve currencies. By the way, it is unnecessary to make up and create new structures. There is such an instrument as special borrowing rights of the International Monetary Fund. <…> After the crisis of 2008–2009, China suggested using the IMF basket instead of dollar – a basket of special borrowing rights as a more stable and protected payment unit. <…> I believe that it could be the first step, and then we can think of ways to adjust this basket. Among other things, it may include currencies of developing markets and commodities. Then African countries could take part in shaping this basket — Alexander Shokhin, President, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.