International business & export to Russia

The Russian Federation was formed after the dissolution of Soviet Union in 1991. Today Russia the biggest country in terms of territory, with an area of 17 million square kilometres. Located in the northern hemisphere, the country has a vast and diverse topography.

Russia holds formidable power as an active member of numerous global bodies such as The World Trade Organisation, The United Nations Security Council, the G20 and the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation among others. Russia also is a key constituent of BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

Carrying out business and securing permits and licenses however is a long, multiple-stepped process in Russia. Also basic amenities such as electricity or inter state travel can be challenging in this country.

Russia’s vital data points ( as of 2019)

Population (million) 146.75
GDP (trillion USD) 1.7
GDP per capita (USD) 11,584
GDP per capita PPP (USD) 29,181
Purchasing power per dollar, compared to the USA 202%
Surface area (sq km) 17,125,191
% of population living in urban areas 73.6%
% of GDP added by agriculture – industry – services 3.45% – 32.17% – 54.03%
Ease of doing business index (1 = best, 189 = lowest) 28

What is Russia’s Business Index?

Taking steady steps to improve its investment attractiveness and ease of doing business, the Russian Federation offers exciting opportunities to expand your business.

Russia’s rank in ‘Doing Business’ has improved over the years to 62nd rank in 2015 and the present government aims to bring this up to the 20th position by 2018. The country scores well in ease of starting business and registering property (34th and 12th rank respectively).

What are Russia’s top business opportunities?

Russia has a rich mining and excavation industry spanning over areas of gas, coal, chemicals, oil and metal. A booming machinery sector offers the country the expertise to produce equipment such as rolling pins, defence equipment, spacecraft and transportation gear.

Here are some more key Russian industries:

  • Communication equipment
  • Agricultural equipment
  • Electric power generating and transmitting equipment
  • Medical and scientific tools
  • Consumer durables
  • Textiles
  • Foodstuffs
  • Handicrafts

What are Russia’s Key Exports?

Russia is one of the world’s top producers and exporters of

  • Petroleum and petroleum products
  • Natural gas
  • Metals
  • Wood and wood products
  • Chemicals

Who are Russia’s primary export partners?

  • Netherlands
  • China
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Turkey

Russia is laying special emphasis on improving the economy and infrastructure in its Far East region that is rich in natural resources. Business opportunities in Far East region include:

  • Machine production
  • Fishing
  • Lumbering
  • Fur trapping

The Russian political system

The Russian Federation is classified as a federal semi presidential republic. Under this system, the President is the head of State and the Prime Minister is the Head of the Government.

Russian national holidays 2019

The following table shows national holidays in Russia for the year 2019. On these days, most schools, institutes and organisations may remain closed.

 Holiday  Date
 New Year’s Day  January 1
 New Year Holiday Week  January 4, 5, 6
 Orthodox Christmas Day  January 7
 New Year Holiday Week  January 8
 Defender of the Fatherland Day  February 23
 International Women’s Day  March 8
 Spring and Labour Day  May 1
 Spring and Labour Day (observed)  May 2
 New Year Holiday Week  May 3
 New Year Holiday Week  May 7
 Victory Day  May 9
 Russia Day  June 12
 Russia Day (observed)  June 13
 Unity Day  November 4

Russia’s vast market potential

With its geographical spread, high rate of urbanization and a growing middle-class, Russia offers vast market opportunities. Despite its challenging political and economic environment, Russia is transitioning rapidly by modernizing the economy, encouraging innovation, simplifying administrative procedures and improving infrastructure. Also be aware of Russia’s internet presence.

With the Russian government’s focus on innovation, technology and schemes to uplift its housing, agriculture, education and healthcare infrastructure, the country is fast becoming an attractive investment destination. However, Russia’s socio-economic context and its business environment may present an entry barrier to foreign firms. It is important to get local representative if you want to enter the Russian market.

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