The Association of Economic Co-operation with African States (AECAS) and the South African United Business Confederation (SAUBC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote Russian-South African economic relations, a statement said yesterday.

The AECAS, created under the auspices of the Russian presidency after the Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in 2019, promotes Russian business on the African continent with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, various government agencies and research institutes.

The SAUBC represents trade councils, industry associations and business chambers that support business activities to ensure the self-sustaining development of the South African economy and to improve the lives of citizens.

The partnership aimed to boost ties between Russian businesses and those of South Africa, finding new points of growth and strengthening existing co-operation in the areas of trade, investments, imports and exports, tourism and agriculture.

The agreement created a framework for the parties to enhance business opportunities through exhibitions, conferences and other networking events that facilitate communication between major business actors in Russia and South Africa, the SAUBC said.

Alexander Saltanov, the chairperson of the AECAS, said: “The second Russia-Africa summit is set to take place in less than 18 months, and both Russian and African businessmen expect this summit to be packed with concrete feasible projects and initiatives that will be implemented in a short-term perspective. The co-operation between AECAS and SAUBC paves a way for us to start working in this direction with our South African partners.”

The SAUBC, represented by president George Sebulela, said: “The signing of the MoU symbolises a new phase in the relations between Russia and South Africa. South Africa is an important partner for Russia, a participant in the emerging of the world order. There is no better time that Russia has repositioned itself to be a major partner with Southern Africa.”

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