On Tuesday in the Russian capital of Moscow, President Barack Obama had a meeting with a Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, offering a true partnership. Officials of the United States described the two hour talk as “very successful”. To the Russian people, especially the younger population, his speech brings lots of hope for Russia’s new future.
PepsiCo Inc. is currently planning to invest more than $4 billion into Russia’s food and drink market. “This investment reflects very clearly our great confidence in Russia and our long-term commitment to this very important market,” said PepsiCo Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi. Boeing will announce a partnership with a Russian titanium maker. Among Scandinavian countries, Swedish retailer Ikea is planning to make Russia one of the main targeted countries, hoping to open 30 stores in near future. Iceland also has investment groups such as Loftleidir (a division of Icelandair), Iceland Seafood, and MP-Bank who are currently doing business within Russia.
People always thought that after the collapse of communism in Russia there would be a major step forward in regards to more opportunities for Western and Scandinavian business. After almost 18 years this has not quite worked out that way. Lots of companies are still questioning the safety of doing business with Russia. “No rule” of law in this country makes vast marketing a risky one. At the same time companies do realize that there are higher returns and lots of opportunities.
Russia’s current major industries are in oil, natural gases, metals, and timber. These industries account for 80% of Russia’s exports as well as IT outsourcing, mobile technology and manufacturing, and banking. However, Western goods and expertise immensely stay in demand, particularly skills in transport, construction, ICT, engineering and teaching. President Barack Obama’ visit to Russia has brought some new hopes for doing business in Russia and overall new partnership.