Doing business in Russia

With its rich natural resources, a well-educated workforce and a reforming industrial base Russia has the potential for substantial future growth. Read our new doing business guide aimed at providing a basic introduction to the Russian market.

Russia is the largest country in the world. It is the eighth largest retail market in the world and the fourth-largest market in Europe. Despite slowing growth, and reduced public and private investment programmes, opportunities do remain due to the Russian oil and gas boom.

It remains a long term market of great potential for British exporters and investors. UK-Russia economic relations remain strong.

Russia is the UK’s fastest-growing major export market and the third-largest export market outside Europe and North America, with favourable cross-sector opportunities, some unique in scale. The government’s economy modernisation and infrastructure development agenda, underpinned by 140 million consumer’s appetite for quality services and goods, produces a need for international expertise and products.

UK exports to Russia in 2011 increased by 39% from 2010, and equalled £4.78 billion. Since 2001 UK-Russia trade has been growing by an average of 21% year on year.

What are the opportunities?

Western goods and expertise remain in demand. The most promising opportunities for UK companies are in the Advanced Engineering, Financial Services, ICT, Power/Energy, Sports & Leisure Infrastructure (particularly the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics), Airports, Construction, Creative Industries, Rail and Water.

Overseas Business Risk

Read our Overseas Business Risk report giving details of overseas business risk in relation to Russia.

This covers:

  • Political and economic background

  • Bribery & corruption

  • Terrorism threat

  • Protective security advice

  • Intellectual property

  • Organised crime

FCO political and economic updates

FCO updates for Russia will keep you up-to-date with major political and economic issues relating to Russia.

Russia’s Special Economic Zones

Russia operates a number of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) which offer benefits for companies locating in these zones. Locating in these zones can enable foreign companies to overcome market access issues in Russia.

More information on:

Samara Special Economic Zone

Sverdlovsk Special Economic Zone (Titanium Valley)

Tomsk Special Economic Zone

Guide to doing business in Russia

IMA in association with UKTI has produced a guide aimed at providing a route map of the way ahead to exporting to Russia, together with signposts to sources of help. Novice exporters in particular should find it a useful starting point.

The guide includes:

Other useful information for doing business in Russia

Customs/tariffs for foreign trade

Certification/GOST standards

Special economic zones

Export trade finance

  • Introduction

  • Researching the market

  • Start-up considerations

  • Best practice and risk management

  • Languages, etiquette and culture

  • Visa and travel information

  • Contacts

  • Resources / Useful links

Download the Russia doing business guide

Sector briefing

For information on your sector in Russia including opportunities, events and key contacts, please check out the latest sector briefings.

See all sector reports for Russia

Countries: Russia
Topics: Getting Started
Export Action Plan