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SPIEF 2024: Russia-Africa mutual trade on the rise – deputy minister

Moscow says the export of agricultural products to African nations has increased by a quarter in 2023

Russian Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Sergey Levin, pledged to continue to increase trade with Africa on Thursday. 

Speaking at the ‘Russia-Africa’ conference during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Levin noted that in 2023, Russian agricultural exports to Africa had risen by 25% compared to the previous year. The minister noted that the upward trend is continuing.

“Over the past year, our [Russian] exports to Africa have increased by a quarter, nearly reaching $6 billion, with 80% of that being wheat,” Levin stated. Moscow is also increasing its food purchases from Africa, with imports totaling $2.1 billion in 2023, he added. 

According to the deputy minister, Moscow has been buying agricultural products from the African continent that do not grow in Russia, including fruits, vegetables, and cocoa beans.

Emphasizing the positive dynamics of economic relations, Levin stressed that from January to April 2024, the two sides “have already traded approximately $3 billion or even more.”

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Levin also recalled the directive from Russian President Vladimir Putin to send humanitarian shipments of grain to six African countries, emphasizing that the Russian side understands the inability of some African countries to purchase wheat at market prices.

In February, Moscow successfully completed the delivery of 200,000 tons of free wheat to Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Chad, and Eritrea, under the humanitarian initiative, following the decision by the Russian President last year, during the second Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg in July 2023.

Evgeny Primakov, head of Rossotrudnichestvo, the cultural support and humanitarian cooperation agency, highlighted the issue of food security during the session, and noted that the agency plans to hold a conference, the date for which is still to be set, on this subject as part of its international development assistance work.

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“We [Rossotrudnichestvo] plan to organize a Russian-African conference on food security together with some members of the Public Council, and we intend to hold it in Africa, specifically in Ethiopia,” he said during the first meeting of the new composition of the Public Council under Rossotrudnichestvo.

June 07, 2024 at 02:06PM

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