Legal & Regulatory

Russia and India to Boost Economic Cooperation and Trade

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By Marina Romanova

prime-minister-narendra-modi-and-russian-president-vladimir-putinIn a way to re-establish “the special and privileged nature’ of their strategic partnership, Russia and India have set the goal of boosting bilateral trade to US$30 billion and mutual investment to US$15 billion by 2025.

However, Russian-Indian trade cooperation leaves much to be desired. For Russia, India is in 19th place in terms of turnover, according to 2014 data, while for India – Russia is in 34th place only. In 2015, this turnover was further reduced by another 18 percent which is, as Russian president Vladimir Putin phrases it, “largely associated with volatility on the global markets and in exchange rates”.

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Russia and Vietnam Aim to get US$10 Bln in Bilateral Trade by 2020

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By Marina Romanova

russia-and-vietnam-aimIn May 2015, after six years and eight rounds of negotiations, Vietnam signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with Russia-led Eurasian Union (EU). Although, it took another 17 months for the deal to finally come into force in October 2016, Vietnam became the first and only country so far to establish a free trade zone with EU, comprise of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.
Many observers believe FTA with Vietnam was possible due to special historical ties between two states.

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Credit History Exchange to be Introduce in Eurasian Union by 2018

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By Marina Romanova

credit-history-exchangeRussia’s central bank is discussing the agreement on credit history exchange between Eurasian Economic Union nations to allow citizens of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia to get loans in various financial institutions within the Union, Russian business daily Kommersant reports.

The Agreement on exchange of information was adopted and enforced by the working group of the Financial Markets Advisory Committee of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) on October 21, 2016. The main goal of the arrangement, as it defined on EEC website, is “to create conditions for free capital flow in the financial markets of the Union states, to ensure access for residents of member states to credit products in banks throughout the EEU and reduce credit risks for banks of the Union States.”

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From Russia with Caviar and VAT

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By Marina Romanova

caviar-and-vatStarting from January, 1 of 2017 Russia may introduce VAT refund to allow foreign visitors obtain a refund of 18 percent value added tax on certain purchases, Russian media reports.

Earlier on November, 10 first Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov has ordered Ministry of Finance to submit a bill for introducing tax-free system in Russia, Shuvalov’s secretariat told journalists. According to Deputy Prime Minister, VAT refund for foreign visitors will increase the flow of tourists and enhance goods turnover.

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LinkedIn Banned in Russia

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By Marina Romanova

linkedin-banned-in-russiaSince Friday, November 17 LinkedIn is officially blocked for around 6 million Russians, who have accounts in the world’s largest job searching engine. Russia’s Roskomnadzor communications watchdog, told Interfax news agency on Thursday that the website would be blocked within 24 hours, and a number of Internet service providers appeared to have immediately begun blocking the website, according to media reports.

LinkedIn, which has its headquarters in the United States, is the first major social network to be blocked by Russian authorities, setting a precedent for the way foreign Internet firms operate.

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WTO to issue first-ever Trade Policy Review of Russia

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By Marina Romanova

full-1465370789151128gng-1465382476WTO to question import substitution

Last week World Trade Organization held two days long discussion on its first Trade Policy Review of the Russian Federation since Moscow joined WTO in August 2012 as its 156th member.

The Review took place at a time when Russia faced a challenging economic environment: fall in oil prices, the sanctions imposed on Russia by some countries, and the counter measures taken by the Russian Federation were among the main reasons for the contraction in the economy, WTO’s Chairperson Concluding Remarks reads.

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Novosibirsk to Ban Foreigners from 16 Jobs

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By Marina Romanova

media_preview56142_710x423Immigrant laborer will no longer be allowed to teach in schools, to drive a bus or cab, to work as timber merchants, lawyers or accountants in Siberian region of Novosibirsk, Russian media reports.

The ban was imposed this Monday by Novosibirsk governor Vladimir Gorodetsky and must be enforced over the next three months of this year by “every employer contracting in the region.” Employers now have a deadline to ensure they comply with the legislation concerning 16 professions in total.

The jobs now barred to foreigners also include preparation of children’s food; work in kids day care, in mining or fisheries. Moreover, new ruling will see the migrants banned from working in finance, law, translation, editing, bookkeeping and audit, consulting and management, The Moscow Times read in the article oddly entitled ‘Russia’s Novosibirsk Region Bans Low-Skilled Migrants’. Although, many migrants are doing menial work in Russia, yet many occupations from the governor’s 16 jobs list are rather qualified personnel positions.

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Russia-Hong Kong СDTA Will Go Into Effect on January 2017

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By Marina Romanova

hong-kong_mapThe comprehensive double taxation agreement (CDTA) between Russia and Hong Kong entered into force on July 29, 2016, and will go into effect in Russia for any year of assessment beginning on or after January 1, 2017 in Russia and April 1, 2017 in Hong Kong.

The CDTA agreement, which was signed with Moscow in January this year, became Hong Kong’s 34th that has signed with its trading partners. The CDTA sets out clearly the allocation of taxing rights between the two jurisdictions and thus will help investors better assess their potential tax liabilities from cross-border economic activities.

Russia’s double tax deal with Hong Kong is said “to support the territory’s ongoing efforts to expand its CDTA network, in particular with economies along “the Belt and Road.” The Belt and Road, or the Silk Road Economic Belt, is a PRC economic development project, which is primarily aimed at integrating trade and investment among around 60 Eurasian countries.

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Russian court to declare bankruptcy of foreign debtors

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By Marina Romanova

maxresdefault (1)Russia’s court system is making first attempts to develop legal practice to bankrupt individual foreigners living in the country, Russian daily Vedomosti reports.
Earlier this June commercial court of Yamalo-Nenets autonomous region of Russia declared Ukrainian citizen Natalia Kuznetsova bankrupt upon her request due to the 1, 5 million rubles debt to local Starbank. Ms. Kuznetsova holds Russian permanent residency and has some assets in her possession.

Another bankruptcy case was brought before the court by Glamin Business Ltd against Akrady Briskin, now German citizen, who failed to pay back his debt of US$17 million. In February 2016, Moscow commercial court acquitted the accused due to impossibility to declare bankruptcy of the foreign citizen. The Glamin Business sent an appeal to the upper chamber of the commercial court, which uphold the ruling at first but later on, at the beginning of this month, has reopen the case for further investigation due to the facts that “defendant owns a property in Russia and was registered as individual entrepreneur.”

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Azerbaijan to simplify visa issuance for foreigners

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By Marina Romanova

azerbaijan_map_markedAzerbaijan ministry of culture and tourism is about to finish all needed preparation to launch new e-visa issuing system called ASAN Visa, www.abc.az reports. The ASAN Visa is scheduled to begin operating since September 1, 2016.

Abulfaz Garayev, the head of the ministry of culture and tourism, has stated that the technical conditions of the system have already been approved, while added that “the introduction of new system does not envisage the elimination of the current system of issuing e-visas through travel agencies, and the latter can continue accepting orders and provide tourists with a visas”.

Functionally new e-visa system would be available online for all applicants and would support the following operations: it will accept applications, process them (including the collection of state fee) and then issue e-visa. According to the ministry, applicants should expect their e-visas to be emailed to them in 3 working days. ASAN Visa will be integrated with entry-exit system.

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