Russia Pledges To Support Africa’s Largest Trading Bloc

COMESA secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya
COMESA secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya

The Russian government has pledged to support efforts by Africa’s largest trading bloc, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to enhance economic development in the region.

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Russian ambassador to Zambia Konstantin Kozhanov said it was important that there was peace and stability in the region in order to boost economic development, Xinhua news agency reported citing the Zambia Daily Mail on Friday.

“Russia follows with interest the strengthening of integration processes in the framework of such a major reputable community like COMESA,” Kozhanov said.

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“Recent crisis developments in the global economic and financial systems push the countries closer to cooperation so they can respond more effectively to economic challenges and obtain real competitive advantage,” he said.

Kozhanov said the Russian embassy in Zambia will host a business forum with participation of Russian companies dealing in foreign investment as a way to boost trade links with the regional body.

COMESA secretary-general Sindiso Ngwenya said the regional bloc has a Group of Elders tasked to handle peace and security issues.

“We will deal with the issue of natural resource and we hope to work with Russia in terms of minerals. These minerals are not benefitting people at the grassroots,” he said.

COMESA is Africa’s largest trading bloc and has a combined gross domestic product of US$485 billion dollars.


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