The Ministry of Economic Development of Russia summarized the results of foreign trade in the first quarter of 2019. During the reporting period, foreign trade turnover amounted to $157.4 billion. In the total turnover volume, the share of exports increased from 65.3% to 66.3% compared with January-March 2018. The European Union occupies a special place in the structure of Russian foreign trade – 43.5% or $68.4 billion in the first quarter of 2019. The European Union is the main business partner, ahead of even the countries of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation, which are the second major trade partner, and this is despite the sanctions. This is logical, because most of Russia is Europe. I will make some comparisons to give an idea of the size of the country’s territory: the Krasnodar Krai is equal to the territories of Belgium and the Netherlands, Greece is equal to the Omsk Region, Germany + Italy + Switzerland together make up the size of the Irkutsk Region, Britain + Ireland is equal to the Zabaykalsky Krai. A large population with a high level of education and income comparable to Eastern European countries, as well as good infrastructure, especially in the European part of the country, make it an attractive market for the sale of goods and services. Moreover, the Russian market is a developing market and needs more goods and services than the “old world” market. There is no doubt that the sanctions against Russia will be lifted because they do not meet the demands of modern business, as evidenced by the International Economic Forum held in St. Petersburg this year. It was attended by 19,000 people from 149 countries.
Unfortunately, politicians do not always express the will of business, and business is the basis of any state. The very notion of statehood basically appeared with the beginning of international trade and taxation; it was trade that helped spread cultural values and new technologies. Countries that lost markets for any reason lost their power because they undermined their own economy and development. Everyone understands that Russia is a powerful country which is ready to confront even America to defend its interests. The system of a unipolar world has ended, both in politics and in business. Countries seek to determine their own business policies; by the way, this is one of the biggest prerequisites for Brexit.
The recent elections in Europe have shown the shift of people to the right, to their national interests. We have entered the era of the new formation which began in 1945 and is now transitioning to a completely new form. New states are created, which means new markets are created, trade vectors are redirected.
Trade with China and with the countries of the Middle East in the medium term will be significantly reduced as the countries’ interests of national security and the protection of their own markets grow (the example is today’s USA), the religious component and different spiritual values (understanding of the world) of East and West also play an important role .
All this leads to the fact that Russia will act as one of the main players in business and not only on the European continent. We cannot throw away the whole world just because we don’t understand how it works.
To be successful in the Russian market tomorrow, you have to start today, because over time, the competition in this market will increase greatly and the entry point to the market will be inaccessible for many companies. Do we want losses in business? The answer is obvious.
Russia is nothing to be afraid of. Yes, the Russian business laws are not perfect, but the country is aware of this and is working intensively to improve them. Russia has made a huge step towards protecting small and medium-sized businesses; Russia creates special conditions for foreign companies to attract foreign investment. If you have questions or a desire to take the right step towards Russia, let me accompany your business along this path. I will always be happy to answer your questions.