Russia is a market of over 140 million people and the largest country in terms of acreage in the world.

Russia has a long way to go in the process of improving its business environment. Although bureaucratic barriers and lack of transparency may seem to jeopardize Russia's appeal as an investment location, the country has a number of advantages for foreign investors:

  • Vast natural resources. Russia continues to attract investments due to its natural resources sector. The oil and gas industry is the foundation of the Russian economy and is responsible for approximately 25 percent of GDP, 50 percent of federal budget revenues and 80 percent of exports. Russia is the second-largest oil-producing country in the world and the largest gas producer with the biggest known reserves.

  • An investor-friendly tax structure. With a profit tax rate of 20 percent and a VAT rate of 18 percent, Russia has one of the most generous non-offshore tax regimes in the world. It also offers one of the most comprehensible tax codes of any nation. As a consequence of resolving contradictions in the tax legislation in favour of the taxpayer, the tax system is becoming increasingly oriented towards the investor.

  • A growing financial and legal services sector. The country's financial and legal services sector is relatively young but already offers a range of opportunities for foreign companies, particularly in light of a recent major project of the Russian government to develop Moscow as an international financial centre. A new educational centre, Skolkovo Moscow School of Management, has been established to support that plan.

  • More open to foreign trade. The improvement of Russia's foreign trade has been a central policy of the government for many years. In 2012 Russia joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) after 18 years of negotiations. International trade and investment relations will now become based on WTO regulation and subject to enforcement through WTO dispute resolution. This is likely to result in a more stable environment for trade and investment relations with Russia.

  • Infrastructure modernization. One of the current priorities for the country is modernizing its transport infrastructure, which includes development of a network of ports, airports and rail links. To some extent the infrastructure update is driven by Russia's ambition to become a leading global sports arena. The country is hosting a number of major sporting events, including the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, the IIHF World Hockey Championship in 2016 and the FIFA World Cup in 2018. These events open the way for international companies in construction, architecture, project management and related services.

We believe that Russia is making consistent efforts to prove that the country is open for business and presents many promising investment opportunities.