On June 28th, 2007, the firm’s Business Practice Group presented a seminar “Doing Business in Russia: Opportunities and Challenges” at Automation Alley. The presentation was well received by the attendees, and offered participants a view on the modern Russian business climate. Featured speakers included representatives from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, CSM Worldwide, Sun Microsystems (Moscow), Alternative M Consulting (Moscow), Baker Tilley Russaudit (Moscow), Global Financial Solutions, and Randolph Wright of the firm’s International Practice Group. The speakers identified business opportunities within Russia, described the automotive and OEM structure within Russia, explained the various choices of entity structure available, discussed franchising, taxation and security issues, and highlighted the banking and regulatory environment for foreign investors. The seminar also provided valuable, first-hand accounts of the various speakers’ challenges, obstacles and success stories as experienced within the Russian marketplace. Berry Moorman would like to take this opportunity to thank all those that participated and attended the event.
RBI recently traveled to Russia to participate in a trade mission.
Attorneys, Randolph Wright and Simon Edelstein, recently traveled to Russia to participate in a trade mission while both the Beijing summer Olympics and the Russian Army invasion of the Republic of Georgia were taking place. As a result, both have frequently been asked to describe the war’s impact on commercial activities in Russia and whether they, as Americans, experienced any backlash as a result of the hostile political dialogue between Russia and the US. In their view, just as American business activities worldwide continue during the war on terrorism, Russian business activities will continue during the conflict with Georgia. The many large and successful American and multinational companies doing business in Russia will press forward, expecting the diplomats to work through the political issues as quickly as possible. The success of American companies in Russia has been a largely untold story in the US media. The American Chamber of Commerce in Russia (“AmCham”) now has 850 member companies.
In a recent survey of 100 companies published by Ernst & Young, half reported sales increases of 200% since establishing a presence in Russia. Overall 67% of the companies expect sales growth of over 50% in 2008. RBI has been doing business in Russia for 15 years.
Randy and Simon strongly endorse AmCham’s assertion that “American companies in Russia are helping to bridge the values gap between Russia and the US by consistently and strongly communicating such key business practice values as law compliance, merit based compensation, strong business ethics and corporate social responsibility.”
Because of their exposure to propaganda, the attitude of the men and women “on the street” may be negative towards Americans. Nonetheless, during the trade mission, neither Randy nor Simon experienced any instance of prejudice because they were Americans. The Ernst & Young survey reported that 75% of the Russian employees of American companies in Russia view the US positively compared to 47% of employees in Russian owned companies. For additional information about the business climate in Russia visit www.amcham.ru, www.usrbc.org, www.moscowtimes.ru , or www.sptimes.ru