Why Consider Russia?

Russia is one of the world’s most important emerging markets, defined by both its size and its growth potential, writes MEI’s Jamie Thompson.

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 is underpinned by 140m consumers’ appetite for quality services and goods. This produces a need for international expertise and products.

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

World Trade Organisation Accession

After 18 years of negotiations, Russia joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2012. This accession is particularly important for the EU being Russia’s first trading partner and Russia EU's third trading partner. For the first time both entities will be bound by multilateral rules and obligations for their mutual trade. The WTO accession will have a positive impact on the conditions of trade and investment between Russia and the European Union. As a consequence of WTO accession, Russia will lower its import duties, limit its export duties and grant greater market access for EU services providers. It will also facilitate rules and procedures in many areas affecting bilateral economic relations. Of particular importance will be regulations on customs procedures, the use of health and sanitary measures, technical standards and the protection of intellectual property.

Russia’s Upcoming Major Events Calendar

IRB World Cup Rugby Sevens – Moscow

Russia’s campaign to popularise sport by hosting major international events will see the Rugby World Cup Sevens coming to Moscow for the first time between 28-30 June 2013. The tournament, to be held at the city’s 80,000-seat Luzhniki Stadium, will attract thousands of visiting foreign fans, and prompt Russians to turn out in bigger numbers for the sport (which has really taken off in Russia in the past few years.)

Speaking at a recent MEI reception held at the Russian Ambassador’s residence in London, Vyacheslav Kopiev, president of Rugby Union Russia said: “Rugby World Sevens 2013 promises to be a celebration of Rugby and citizens around Moscow and the whole of Russia are looking forward to welcoming players, coaches, fans and officials from the world with open arms. Russia is a passionate and proud Olympic and Rugby nation and Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 will hopefully inspire a new generation of Rugby players around the country to start playing ahead of Rio 2016.”

World University Games July 2013 – Kazan

Kazan’s population is about 1.2m people, and 26m people more live within a 330 mile radius. It comprises 18% of the population of Russia. Kazan has been named one of the best municipalities in the country. Kazan is among Russia’s most dynamic and developing cities and is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, a big harbour situated on the left bank of the Volga River.

Sochi - 2014

Russia will host the XXII Olympic and XI Paralympics Winter Games in February – March 2014 in Sochi. The potential opportunities for overseas companies are enormous. The official delivery plan records some 218 projects to be constructed in Sochi. More than £20bn will be spent on the preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. There has been particular interest identified in overseas companies offering innovative products and services in the area of architectural design, civil engineering and construction. Whilst the construction of sport facilities is nearing completion, ample opportunities for companies still exist in the service supply sector.

FIFA World Cup 2018

Russia’s FIFA World Cup 2018 will generate large opportunities for overseas businesses; the plan suggests the construction of 13 new stadiums in cities across the country, as well as the renovation of three existing ones. Russia’s federal budget will provide over £6bn of funding for the FIFA World Cup 2018 sports infrastructure. The biggest spending is planned after the year 2013.

Additional information