New Paradigm: Development Cooperation of Eurasian Economic Union with African Union; Japan with Russia
Jan. 2, 2017 (EIRNS)—In a Dec. 31, 2016 interview with independent Russian Africa specialist Kester Kenn Klomegah, published in Eurasian Review and AllAfrica, Tatiana Cheremnaya of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Business Council says that in the wake of agreements between the EAEU and African Union (AU) at an important meeting in Addis Abeba in July 2016, increased investments in cross-border infrastructure connecting numerous African regions are envisaged.
A key role in the funding will be played by the BRICS’ New Development Bank, which has established an African leg already, with South Africa as a BRICS member.
Railway development is crucial. China is already engaged in several countries of Africa; Russia is involved in projects such as in Sudan and Ethiopia. Infrastructure is crucial, if Africa wants to take part in the growing Eurasian markets as an exporter of goods, Cheremnaya stresses.
At the same time the key EAEU country, Putin’s Russia, is getting crucial development investment from Japan, following the 2016 Putin-Abe summits in March, July, and December. Jiji Press in Tokyo reported that the economic aid Abe committed includes direct investments by Japanese machine-tool manufacturers for building up Russia’s depleted machine-tool capacities. U.S./European financial sanctions against Russia since 2014 have been aimed, among other economic attacks, at cutting off Russia’s ability to import advanced machine tools, which it needs for its nuclear and other leading industries. The machine-tool capabilities of Japan (which was drawn into those sanctions) lead the world.
The eight-point economic cooperation plan confirmed at the Dec. 16 Tokyo summit of Prime Minister Abe and President Vladimir Putin included many deals related to the machine-tool industry. These have led for the first time to direct investment, by which Japanese firms are aiming to reverse Russia’s serious lag in modernizing production facilities.
These capacities, in turn, are crucial to Russia’s and the EAEU’s plans to invest in new transport and power infrastructure in Africa—joining China’s lead in this, and secondarily that of Japan. The workings of an international new paradigm—which the United States and Europe have not yet decided to join.