Foreign Companies Optimistic about Business Climate in Russia

Foreign Companies Optimistic about Business Climate in Russia

The number of foreign companies operating in Russia that noted a significant improvement in the country’s business climate more than doubled over the 2018 figures, growing from 10 to 23 percent. RIA Novosti reported the news with reference to a new study of business climate that is carried out annually by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the Orta Group, and the FleishmanHillard Vanguard agency.

The increase is associated with positive feedback from those who had not seen any changes before, neither positive nor negative (29 percent now and 40 percent a year ago). The share of skeptics has not changed much, though, currently amounting to 48 percent (against 50 a year ago). Compared to 2018, the respondents tend to talk about bottlenecks more eagerly, which suggests that the business environment might be more inviting to dialogue than before.

High administrative barriers, poor access to credit, and unfair competition have been named as key challenges foreign businesses in Russia have to face. The lack of qualified personnel, which had been one of the major difficulties back in 2017, was brought up again by 53 percent of those polled (against 40 for 2018).

Thirty-seven percent of respondents cited high administrative barriers, 26 percent brought up the difficulty accessing credit resources, and 24 percent said the unfair competition was a big hurdle, although the latter had never been mentioned before. Direct personal contacts with federal authorities and local governments remained the key tool in the interaction between businesses and the government, according to 78 percent of the respondents (versus 80 percent last year).

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