30 Mar 2023 15:48

Trade turnover between Russia, South Africa up 16.4% in 2022 to $1.3 bln - natural resources minister

MOSCOW. March 30 (Interfax) - Trade between Russia and South Africa was up 16.4% in 2022 compared to the previous year and amounted to $ 1.3 billion, Natural Resources Minister Alexander Kozlov said during a meeting of the Russia-South Africa Intergovernmental Commission.

The potential for cooperation between the countries is much greater and there are conditions for boosting trade volumes, Kozlov said. "Undoubtedly, the unprecedented sanctions against Russia have a negative impact on opportunities for trade growth. Under these conditions, it is necessary to come up with new forms of cooperation in the financial sector. I expect that in the very near future we will be able to carry out practical work in this direction and build an effective system of settlements," the minister said.

He stressed that the relevant ministries need to work on the possibilities of expanding supplies of goods, machinery and equipment: "Russian Helicopters is interested in the promotion of Russian helicopters and their after-sales service. We are willing to consider creating an ambulance service in South Africa equipped with Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopters as a pilot project. RUSAL is interested in supplying aluminum foil produced in Russia, which has a low carbon footprint. We know that in South Africa there is a high demand for this product in many industries," Kozlov said. He also stressed that the United Metallurgical Company and Severstal are ready to export steel products for various purposes. Baltic Chemical Complex intends to export ethylene polymers in primary forms.

According to the minister, there is a growing interest on the part of Russian energy companies in the South African market. "First of all, the construction and modernization of power generation facilities. Unigreen Energy has set up a local representative office in South Africa. A solar farm project with a combined capacity of 115 MW is nearing completion. Completion of the project is scheduled for 2024. The company is prepared to expand its presence in South Africa. A number of Russian companies are also ready to work on expanding cooperation with South Africa. For example, RusHydro Group for hydropower facilities. Power Machines in terms of construction and modernization of thermal and hydraulic facilities. Siberian Coal Energy Company in terms of coal-fired power plants," Kozlov said.