Russia to Open Trade Mission in South Africa

MOSCOW, September 2 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will open a trade mission in South Africa, the Russian foreign minister said Monday after a meeting with his South African counterpart in Moscow.

“I am glad today to pass my counterpart an official note that would formalize an intergovernmental agreement on the opening of a Russian trade mission in Johannesburg as part of Russia’s embassy to South Africa,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists.

South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the mission opening would contribute to a further strengthening of bilateral economic ties.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in an interview with RIA Novosti that the talks between Lavrov and Nkoana-Mashabane were supposed to focus on increasing bilateral trade and boosting investment cooperation.

South Africa is one of Russia’s leading foreign trade partners in sub-Saharan Africa. Bilateral trade last year rose 66.3 percent to $964 million.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in March after a meeting with his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, that the two countries planned to keep increasing trade.

“There are interesting projects in aircraft construction. In March this year, a regional service center for Russian-made helicopters was opened in Johannesburg,” Lavrov said. “We also plan with our South African friends to jointly manufacture a light multipurpose helicopter.”

He also said Russia was ready to contribute to the establishment of a nuclear-power sector in South Africa.


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