Russia Briefing News

Trump Out, Xi & Putin In – China & Russia Want Asia-Pacific Free Trade Deal

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china-russia-want-asia-pacific-free-trade-dealIn the aftermath of the United States pulling out of the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week that Moscow supports the idea of setting up a free trade area in Asia and the Pacific.

“We support the idea of forming an Asia-Pacific free trade area. We believe this is in our practical interest and represents an opportunity to strengthen our positions in the rapidly growing APR markets. I want to note that over the past five years, the share of APEC economies in Russia’s foreign trade has increased from 23 to 31%, and from 17 to 24% in exports. And we have no intention of stopping there.”

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Russia To Push Greater Eurasian Partnership Concept At APEC

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infographic-great-eurasian-partnership-for-cdeRussian President Vladimir Putin is set to push the concept of the Greater Eurasian Partnership at the annual APEC meeting in Danang, Vietnam tomorrow. The GEP is a proposed combination of the Russian led Eurasian Economic Union, members of the Shanghai Co-Operation Organisation, ASEAN, and China’s Belt & Road Initiative.

“The project of the Greater Eurasian Partnership is open to new participants” President Putin said ahead of the APEC Economic Leaders’ summit in Vietnam on November 10-11.

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Crimea Free Trade Zone Investments Soar To USD1.65 Billion

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crimea-ftzThe Crimea Free Trade Zone  located in Sevastopol, was established in 2015 following the annexation by Russia of the region, and has realized some USD1.65 billion worth of foreign investment since it was bought into operations, according to Sergei Aksyonov, the head of the FTZ.

Speaking at the Friends of Crimea Forum, an international conference, held in Yalta yesterday, he said “The volume of investments in the free economic zone has exceeded 100 billion rubles and the number of its residents has exceeded one thousand. Notably, they include foreign, including European, residents. However there are not that many of them as would like to have.”

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Russian Language Articles On Business Opportunities & Setting Up In China

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russian-language-articlesRussia Briefing has been running a series of articles, in Russian, concerning business investments into and establishing a business in China. These are of primary interest to any Russian businesses thinking of establishing a business in, or trading with China. Please see the archived articles below. Titles are in English but will link to Russian language articles:

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Russia-German Trade Up 25 Percent in 2017

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close-up-of-deutsche-markVladimir Putin has stated that bilateral trade between Russia and Germany reached US$40.7 billion last year, with some US$18 billion directly invested by German companies in Russia. 2017 has shown bilateral trade between the two countries growing at at 25 percent.

President Putin stated that “More than 5,000 enterprises with the participation of German capital operate in Russia employing 270,000 Russian citizens. The turnover of those companies exceeds US$50 billion. Despite all existing challenges in the political area, the economic relations with the Federal Republic of Germany are not fading away. Although China has outpaced Germany in terms of trade turnover with Russia, the latter still takes a significant share of Russia’s trade.”

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Using the Hong Kong Double Tax Treaty with Russia

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russia-hong-kongThe Russia-Hong Kong Double Tax Treaty (DTA) has been in effect since April 1, this year, and has begun to prove itself as a useful tool for foreign companies investing in Russia. Our firm, Dezan Shira & Associates has successfully implemented business structures in Russia, using Hong Kong corporations as an ownership vehicle for a foreign owned company in Russia.

The background and benefits of the DTA are that such agreements are concluded by and between two states (in this case, Hong Kong and Russia) and are aimed at eliminating taxation-related obstacles to the movement of capital, goods or income, at preventing tax evasion and discrimination, and also at establishing procedures for interaction between the states when collecting taxes.

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Russia Focusing on Blockchain Supply Chain Technologies

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russia-blockchainRussian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov has stated that Russia will be concentrating in legalizing blockchain from the viewpoint of it as a mechanism to register data so that the information stored in blockchain will have the same legal force as information stored in other forms. The Russian move places it, along with China and the Northern European countries such as Finland and the Baltic States, ahead of the technology game when it comes to handling supply chains across Eurasia, with specific long term implications for China’s Belt & Road initiative.

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Indonesia Latest Asian Nation to Discuss EAEU Free Trade

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indonesia_eurasia_flagIndonesia has requested to open negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Eurasian Economic Union, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said this week. Speaking in the follow-up to the negotiations with his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, Lavrov said that the proposal on creating an EAUE-Indonesia free trade zone is under consideration. “Indonesia shows interest in starting negotiations on creating a free trade zone with this union [EAEU]. The relevant proposal has been introduced and is now being considered. Russia backs it.”

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The Kerch Strait Bridge – Europe’s Longest – Nears Completion

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kerch-strait-bridgeWhat is the longest bridge in Europe? It’s a good trivial pursuit question, but not one most will be able to answer. In fact, its existence is partially down to Western sanctions on Russia following the decision to bring the Crimean Peninsula back into Russia. (Historians will know that apart from the period 1991-2014, Crimea was part of either the Soviet Union or Russia from 1783, and had previously been part of the Ottoman Empire along with Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania before then).

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Russian E-Commerce Up 22 Percent to Expected US$20 Billion in 2017 – Online Purchases from EU “Among Most Valuable”

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russian-ecommerceRussia’s e-commerce market is growing at a rapid pace, and is indicative of a major shift in how Russians are purchasing products. “Domestic e-commerce expenditure hit 498 billion rubles (US$8.6 billion) in the first half of this year, a 22 percent increase year-on-year”, Russian Post and the Association of Internet Trade Companies  (AITC) said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

AITC expects the market to exceed 1.1 trillion rubles (US$19.1 billion) by the end of 2017, while cross-border e-commerce trade increased 34 percent in the first half of 2017 year-on-year to 178 billion rubles (US$3 billion), meaning the share of cross-border tax free trade grew 35.7 percent in the first half of the year. Russian Post’s share of this accounted for 67.5 percent of the country’s online market in the first half of the year. “If cross-border trade keeps those growth rates it will squeeze out Russia’s online sales of small appliances and apparel within a couple of years,” AITC CEO Alexey Fedorov said in response to the results.

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