MOSCOW, 20 March (BelTA) - African countries are interested in dialogue with Belarus and the development of economic and humanitarian ties with our country, Chairman of the Standing Committee on International Affairs and National Security of the Council of the Republic, Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for Foreign Affairs, Migration Policy and Relations with Compatriots of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, Sergei Rachkov told BelTA on the sidelines of the international parliamentary conference Russia-Africa in Moscow on 20 March.
According to Sergei Rachkov, it is clear from the title of the conference that it is aimed at developing cooperation with African countries and making its contribution to the formation of a multipolar world order. “It has already held roundtables on cooperation in education, science and technology, economy, as well as the topic of indivisible security and the fight against neocolonialism. Both the theme of the conference itself and the announced topics for discussion emphasize the relevance of the development of relations of both Russia and Belarus with the countries of Africa,” he said.
“In addition to geopolitical topics, the focus of attention is on the development of economic cooperation, technology transfer, and the formation of digital sovereignty. Participation in the conference is very important for Belarus; we have managed to establish relations, hold meetings and negotiations with a number of parliamentary delegations of African countries, in particular, Angola, Algeria, Egypt, South Africa, Madagascar, and other countries. We have made a focus on establishing contacts with the countries with which Belarus still has to seriously work and build up the relations, first of all, the trade and economic cooperation,” the MP said.
He stated that there is a good foundation for the development of trade and economic cooperation between Belarus and Africa. “In 2022, the trade with African countries amounted to more than $0.5 billion. Mainly it was the export of Belarusian goods and services. Our African colleagues said that most of their countries are developing cooperation and dialogue with the Republic of Belarus. They stressed they are primarily interested in developing economic ties, in sending their students to study at universities in Belarus. For our part, we told our African colleagues in great detail about the opportunities of Belarus in industry, agriculture, education, science, the prospects of cooperation in science and technology. We hope that many of them will visit Belarus in the near future and convert these discussions into concrete meetings and agreements," Sergei Rachkov added.
"Our contacts will certainly continue in the future. I want to emphasize that this is an international parliamentary conference. Parliamentary delegations are very actively engaged in the development of interstate relations of their countries, including with the Republic of Belarus," the MP added.
The international parliamentary conference Russia - Africa is running in Moscow on March 18-20. It gathered delegations from about 40 states of the African continent. The conference is a kind of preparatory event for the second Russia - Africa summit which will be held in St. Petersburg on 27-28 July.