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AU seeks Russian aid in infra projects
April 29, 2013, 10:28 am


Sergey Lavrov (right), welcomes chairwoman of the Commission of the African Union Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to the talks in Moscow [AP]

The African Union has expressed interest in investment from Russia to overhaul infrastructure in the continent.

African states are ready to provide favourable conditions for Russian business to join infrastructure projects, Russia’s foreign minister said on Monday after talks with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairwomen of the African Union Commission in Moscow.

“We spoke about the prospects for the participation of Russian companies in major infrastructure projects on the African continent. We noted there is a demand for Russian business in Africa,” foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with Dlamini-Zuma.

Lavrov said meetings between African leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa in March have given new impetus to African cooperation with Russian business.

BRICS-Africa trade is set to increase more than threefold, from $150 billion in 2010 to $530 billion in 2015.

African states are interested in extending cooperation with Russia in both the social and economic spheres, and also logistics, said Dlamini-Zuma.

One of the most crucial achievements of this year’s summit was the formation of a new 25-member BRICS Business Council comprised of five members from each of the member nations.

“The Council will serve as a platform to strengthen and promote economic, trade, business and investment ties between the business communities of the five BRICS countries,” South African President Jacob Zuma said at the launch of the Council in Durban last month.

Russia’s presidential aide Yury Ushakov said previously the council’s main task would be implementing multilateral investment projects.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Ria Novosti