Expanding transport links between Russia and Africa is a priority for the development of mutual trade, according to the Russian Federal Customs Service. The service’s interim head, Ruslan Davydov, highlighted the importance of maritime logistics in accommodating the growing trade between the two regions. Currently, up to 95% of trade between Russia and its main African partners is conducted by sea, necessitating the expansion and streamlining of maritime logistics.
Davydov emphasized that logistics is a key element in this process due to the long distances involved, the heavy and bulky nature of goods, and the specific expertise required. He shared that the share of African nations in Russia’s foreign trade rose by 30% in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2022. The top five countries contributing to the trade turnover between Russia and Africa are Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Libya, and South Africa. Russia primarily exports grain, energy resources, metals, and trucks to the continent, while importing agricultural produce.
Regarding progress in logistics, Davydov mentioned Russia’s largest private logistics company, Fesco, which announced at the Russia-Africa summit that it has launched direct sea container links with Gqeberha, a major port in South Africa. Fesco also has plans to expand its reach to more destinations on the continent. In fact, the first Russian vessel to arrive at Gqeberha recently delivered a cargo of solar panels, which were successfully unloaded.
Davydov further discussed the issue of railway links within Africa, acknowledging the limited trade between Russia and landlocked countries in the center of the continent. He revealed that central African nations are interested in foreign investment in railway infrastructure and hope that Russia will assist in establishing rail connections with the continent’s ports. This initiative is expected to enhance mutual trade between Russia and Africa.
In conclusion, the Russian Federal Customs Service recognizes the importance of expanding transport links between Russia and Africa to facilitate the growing trade between the two regions. With the majority of trade being conducted by sea, maritime logistics plays a crucial role and requires expansion and streamlining. Russia’s aim is to strengthen its trade relations with African nations, especially the top five trading partners, by exporting goods such as grain, energy resources, metals, and trucks, and importing agricultural produce. The recent progress in logistics, such as Fesco’s direct sea container links with Gqeberha, marks a significant step forward. Additionally, the potential development of railway links within Africa holds promise for further boosting mutual trade.