from PEDRO AGOSTO in Luanda, Angola
LUANDA – AFRICA’S richest businesswoman, Isabel dos Santos, is confident of opportunities present for Russia to expand trade with the continent.
She was speaking at the recent St Petersburg International Economic Forum where she was invited to represent African business leaders.
Over 3 500 high-level delegates attended the event presided over by Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Dos Santos was invited to attend an exclusive dinner with 50 other global business leaders.
The forum came at a time Russia’s investment in Africa amounts to US$17 billion.
Dos Santos recalled that China is already investing $120 billion and also cited the case of India that, in just ten years, went from an investment from $7 billion to $80 billion.
“There are therefore still many investment opportunities in Africa,” she said while speaking on the Panel of the Russia Africa relations.
Dos Santos identified infrastructure as one of the main investment areas.
“Trade between African countries is still very difficult due to bad transport connections. It is essential to build a good map of internal trade routes to unlock the potential African,” she said.
Nikita Gusakov, Chief Executive of the Russian export insurance company, EXIAR, said support of the Russian export to African countries could double and reach the level of $1 billion this year.
“There are quite a lot of projects. We supported exports to Africa in the amount of $0,5 billion last year. Regarding sectors, these are railways, pipeline infrastructure, everything linked to food security and fertilizer suppliers,” Gusakov told media.
Dos Santos described Africa as vast continent with a lot of potential, working people who are passionate about their land, hence everything was set for Africa to make the leap and become a robust economy.
“As Angolan and businesswoman, I have this sense of mission to Angola and Africa. We are on the right track but there is still a lot we can do,” she concluded.
– CAJ News