Russia signs MoU with Southern African countries

By
Kester Kenn Klomegah, GNA’s Moscow Bureau Chief

MOSCOW ( Russia), Oct  24, GNA – Southern African Development
Community (SADC) and the Russian Federation have sign a new Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) at an investment forum that aimed at creating a unified
regional platform to share with potential Russian businesses, information on
investment opportunities and the investment climate in the SADC Region.

The MoU envisages strengthening ties in a
broad range of fields and shows that SADC remains as one of Russia’s key
partners in Africa.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and
Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC),
Stergomena Lawrence Tax, signed for the Russian Federation and SADC,
respectively.

“Our meeting symbolizes a new stage in
the relations between Russia and the SADC. The previous document on cooperation
was signed in 2003, and in the last 15 years, our cooperation has reached a
qualitatively new level,” Lavrov said.

“Africa is an important partner for
Russia, a participant in the emerging and sustainable polycentric architecture
of the world order.

Our relations with the states of that
continent are valuable in their own right and should not be subject to the
fluctuations on the international arena,” Lavrov said earlier at the
Russia-Africa civil gathering organized prior to the SADC-Russia investment
forum.

He added: “We are aware that our African
friends hold the same views. Relying on the accumulated experience of
productive cooperation, Russian diplomats seek to pursue a consistent policy
for deepening the range of Russia-Africa relations.”.

Lavrov underlined the need to maximize the
potential of public, cultural and business diplomacy in the interests of
strengthening and expanding the mutually beneficial ties between Russia and
African states while invariably adhering to the African solutions to African
problems principle formulated by the Africans themselves.

He announced that a parliamentary and a
business forum would be held in the near future to help expand economic
cooperation with Africa.

On his part, the SADC Executive Secretary said
“Russia and Africa have been partners for many years, and expressed a
desire to achieve a new level in their relations.”

She said it was encouraging that, in recent
times, Russia had been repositioning itself to be a major partner with Southern
Africa.

She found it refreshing that the East European
nation had launched a plan aimed at improving direct trade with the
continent/region beyond the traditional sectors like mining and seeking to
invest in areas like agriculture, industrial production, high technology and
transport.

Russia’s priorities tied in with those of the
SADC, she added.

The region has a combined population of
approximately 327 million people, and a collective GDP of US$ 600 billion
(2016)

GNA

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