Promoting Russian Economic Interests in Southern Africa

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-11-79-87
Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences (INION) of the RAS, 51/21, Nakhimovskii Prosp., Moscow, 117418, Russian Federation.

Received 09.05.2021.

Acknowledgements. The article was prepared at IMEMO under the support of the Russian Science Foundation (project no. 17-78-20216).

Abstract. In this study Southern Africa refers to 10 countries: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Angola and Mozambique. The author states that this region can take an important place in the general policy of the economic turn of the Russian Federation to the Global South. The Soviet Union developed close ties with some countries, supporting them in their struggle for independence, but after the collapse of the USSR, our country “left the region”. Analysis of main features of modern Russian foreign trade in goods and services, as well as foreign direct investment, has shown that only South Africa and Angola are characterized by a diversified structure of bilateral economic relations, and quite favorable in terms of Russian exports of goods. However, even in South Africa and Angola, the dynamics of trade with Russia is unstable, Russian investment was made by a limited number of leading TNCs (mainly in raw materials). Imports from Angola are associated only with diamonds, which does not distinguish this country from Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, which mainly specialize in the supply of tobacco raw materials to Russia. Russian high-tech exports are primarily related to arms supplies, while a significant proportion of other high value-added goods are usually associated with small volumes of supplies (as in the case of Russia’s pharmaceutical exports to Angola). So far, Russian grain and mineral fertilizers are most in demand in Southern Africa. At the same time, almost all countries in the region have the potential to deepen cooperation with Russia. Russian companies that come to the region as investors will be able to significantly increase trade turnover and diversify its structure. The most significant investments have been made by Russian oil and gas TNCs and diamond mining giant ALROSA. However, Russian investors from other industries, as well as service companies, are also showing interest in Southern Africa.

Keywords: Southern Africa, Russia, South Africa, Angola, foreign trade, commodity structure of trade, foreign direct investment, TNCs


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For citation:
Kuznetsov A. Promoting Russian Economic Interests in Southern Africa. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 11, pp. 79-87.

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