The world’s largest country has one of the fastest growing major economies, offering high – value opportunities for UK companies in a wide – range of sectors.
Russia has recently bid for and won the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Formula 1 (2014) and will also host the 2018 World Cup.
These major sporting events symbolise the Eurasian country’s continued integration into the World economy. Following ratification of its member status to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2012, trade has never been easier.
The Kremlin has set aside $500 billion for infrastructure projects; its aim to rebuild a country seventy times bigger than the UK following years of Soviet under investment.
With Moscow just 3.5 hours from home, Russia’s is the closest BRIC market geographically and culturally. Last year UK exports reached £5.5 billion, making it our fastest growing export market.
However with a population of 140 million, spanning nine time zones and bordering Poland and Ukraine in the West and Japan and the USA in the East, the World’s sixth richest economy isn’t without its challenges.
Personal relationships are vital to trading successfully in Russia. A ‘boots on the ground’ market, you will need to develop your business face – to – face and be prepared to spend £30,000 – £40,000 per annum to do business there.
You will also need to navigate a unique standards system known as GOST and a prevailing VISA regime which may slow your travel plans. Bureaucracy and red – tape linger on from the old regime but this can be sidestepped with the use of a competent local intermediary.
Corruption remains a problem, yet Russia has the highest ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking of the any BRIC economy. Like elsewhere in the world don’t engage in under hand tactics.
Russians value the British brand, many of them speak English and have had images of the UK beamed into their living rooms thanks to the presence of numerous oligarchs in London and elsewhere.
The Russian Federation may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but with an economy largely unscathed by the economic crisis, a large middle class with significant disposable income and immense state wealth it offers opportunities many businesses would love to take advantage of.
Enterprise Europe Network and Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission, are leading a high – level trade mission to Moscow, 17 – 18 June 2013. Contact us for more details.