Russia is one of the greatest and biggest countries in the world with a rich historical and cultural background. The country spans ten times zones, two continents and reaches out over 17 m sq. kilometres.
Two major cities mostly known to westerners are Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. The treasure of Moscow is embodied in the Tretykov Gallery, the Bolshoy Theatre and the Kremlin collections. The most advantageous Saint-Petersburg art collections are preserved in the Hermitage and the Russian Museum. Other famous Russian towns also can boast their unique living atmosphere – castles, churches and cloisters. You can find it in medieval democratic Novgorod and Pscov or Kaliningrad (former German Konigsberg) on the Baltic Sea Coast, where I lived previously.
The Russian countryside has a vast quantity of free land and is rich in mountains, rivers, forests and lakes. Nevertheless village life in Siberia is very different from England and time is endless. Russia lays claim to many remarkable people that have enriched the world. Russian writers have made an special contribution to the golden font of literature. Certain classical traditions were established by Pushkin, Tolstoy and Dostoyevskiy in Tsarist times and continued by Solzhenitsyn and Brodskiy in the Soviet era. Composers from Glinka, Tchaikovskiy, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev to Shnitke and Shostakovich have left long lasting musical legacies.
Nevertheless only the Russian people can make Russian history and culture. In spite of a hard and dramatic past, Russia today is a nation of enormous diversity and tremendous vitality. Russian people are special: they are very generous, kind and honest. In today’s modern life they keep on trying not to forget their real characters. They save their traditions, celebrate the wealth of Russia past and strive to reach the country’s potential in the future.
It is as if the cultural traditions of a century ago have re-awakened with a newfound strength – ancient cathedrals are being rebuilt and restored, colourful markets hum with activity once again and literature and the arts are quickly regaining the creative reknown they enjoyed decades ago. A new Russia is now coming into full bloom.
In recent years the thriving economic factors in Russia have attracted a lot of interest from foreign enterprises. Russia has become one of the most important markets in the world. The resource-focused economy is slowly recovering and already returned to pre-crisis level in the end of 2011. The World Bank predicts that Russia's economy will grow by 3.3 percent this year with improvement of domestic demand.
Russia's federal budget deficit did not exceed 0.3% of GDP in 2012 and it is very likely to stay the same till the end of 2013 as was said by the Finance Minister Anton Siluanov in January 2013. Federal budget revenues are expected to reach 12.865 trillion rubles, and expenditures will grow by 13.387 trillion rubles.
According to the Central Bank's data, Russia's gold and foreign exchange reserves amounted to $124.5 billion as of December 31, 2004, and to $523,4 billion as of March 7, 2013. The Reserve Fund was reported to have been 2 592,9 billion rubles ($84,68 bln) by March 1, 2013. The aggregate amount of the National Wealth Fund was 2 682,6 trillion rubles, which equivalent to 87,61 billion US dollars. The two funds were created after the Stabilization Fund of the Russian Federation was split into two separate investment funds on January 30, 2008. Funds are invested abroad in different level risk securities and used when oil and gas incomes fall.
During the last 10 years GDP has grown by 70%. Unemployment has fallen by one-third and the minimum wage has quadrupled in just three years. The rate of inflation is down and the rouble has stabilised. To a great extent, the improvements in the Russian economy are down to the rise of world oil prices. But the great achievement today besides that is a political stability.
U.K. Trade and Investment government organisation analyse Russian development and notices that "Russia offers good long-term opportunities for UK exporters and investors. Over the past few years, trade between Russia and the UK has increased significantly, and this is expected to continue for the foreseeable future." In 2012, UK exports to Russia increased by 15% and equalled £5.5bn, import from Russia - £11.3bn. Total foreign investment into Russia in 2012 reached of US$154.6bn from US$50 billion in 2007. The UK was top foreign investor, with about $14.7bn coming from British sources.
They help exporters from the U.K. break into this lucrative market, organising seminars, meetings and visits to Russia. But this is not enough.
They warn you “the challenges to doing business in Russia should not be underestimated. In order to create the right environment for success, UK companies should carry out detailed research, including the identification of the right potential partners, and seek professional advice where necessary. You will also need to be aware of the legal requirements for exporting goods to Russia.”
To learn how and why to get the best legal advice when doing business with Russia. Go to the overview section of this site