President Vladimir Putin has proposed the establishment of a logistics hub for the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) on the African coast. Speaking at the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg, Putin highlighted the potential of the INSTC to provide a shorter route for Russian goods to reach Africa compared to the Suez Canal.
The INSTC is a planned multi-mode transit system spanning 7,200 kilometers that will connect ship, rail, and road routes for moving cargo between Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, India, and Central Asia. Putin emphasized that this corridor could also be used to transport African goods to the Russian market.
Russia aims to ensure interconnectivity within the INSTC and launch regular freight shipping lines. It is projected that the volume of goods transported via the corridor will nearly triple over the next seven years. In order to facilitate this growth, Putin suggested the establishment of a logistics hub on the African coast.
According to the Russian president, the opening of a transport and logistics center in one of the African ports would be a crucial step in enhancing trade and cooperation between Russia and Africa. Putin emphasized the importance of direct flights and participation in the development of the African railroad network as key tasks for collaboration.
Russia has consistently highlighted the potential of the INSTC as an alternative to the Suez Canal, which currently handles about 12% of global trade daily. The construction of the INSTC began in the early 2000s, but recent geopolitical developments, such as Western sanctions, have accelerated the need to diversify trade flows.
The total cargo flow along the corridor was 14.5 million tons in 2022, with a projected increase to 17.6 million tons this year. By 2030, the volume is expected to reach 41 million tons, according to Russia’s Transport Ministry.
The proposal to establish a logistics hub on the African coast aligns with Russia’s strategy to strengthen its economic ties with Africa. This move could provide African countries with increased opportunities to engage in global trade and enhance economic development.
In conclusion, President Putin’s proposal to establish a logistics hub for the INSTC on the African coast underscores Russia’s commitment to expanding its trade and cooperation with Africa. This initiative has the potential to significantly shorten the route for Russian goods to reach Africa and promote increased trade between the two regions. Moreover, the development of the INSTC presents African countries with an alternative route for their goods to reach the Russian market. By fostering greater interconnectivity and launching regular freight shipping lines, the volume of goods transported via the corridor is projected to significantly increase in the coming years. The establishment of a logistics hub on the African coast will further support this growth and contribute to the development of trade and economic ties between Russia and Africa.