Moscow Overtakes Beijing In Global Start-Up & Eco-System Rankings

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Moscow has moved up to tenth place in the Global Start-Up Rankings according to StartUp Blink, who monitor the rankings of new start up environments by measuring the number and quality of startups, infrastructure, business climate and public acceptance of innovations. Bangalore in India ranked 11th, with Beijing in 17th place. Other Asian cities that featured prominently included Tokyo (14), Delhi (18), Hong Kong (28), Mumbai (29), Seoul (30), Shanghai (31) Singapore (32), Jakarta (39) and Shenzhen (40).

The top nine were comprised of San Francisco, New York, London, Los Angeles, Boston, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Chicago and Seattle.


“Moscow has developed a new dynamism since the West’s sanctions came into effect” says Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates. “The Russian economy has had to adapt fast and this has meant the creation of the more pro-active mindset in the Russian business and higher educational sectors, as well as a mass adoption of new technologies such as Fintech and Blockchain now being introduced to underpin innovations. With Russia also now reaching out to conduct business in Asia, whose primary cities are also now among the worlds most globally innovative, the future of the Eurasian continent is becoming more dominated by Asian innovation and cultures. Russia is aiming to bridge the gap between West and East in this regard and that digital infrastructure and entrepreneurial drive is very much part of that.”

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The full Start-Up list, featuring the rankings of over 1,000 global cities, can be accessed here

Russia’s shift to embracing new technologies and create an environment suitable for entrepreneurial start ups includes its corporate tax regime, which is relatively low at 20%, a variety of investment incentives for local and foreign businesses, and its diplomatic and trade push towards Asia. This has resulted in a huge increase in Free Trade Agreements between the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union and Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, Singapore, India and so on. Such agreements considerably reduce or even eliminate the duties paid by Russia and other EAEU member states and the countries that have signed off such deals, creating an upsurge in two-way trade of benefit to manufacturers and traders in these countries. An example is Vietnam, which has seen Russian investment increase from zero to US$20 billion since the Vietnam signed off an FTA with the EAEU. Russian-Chinese bilateral trade is also booming, with 2018 producing US$100 billion in trade and this expected to grow at 20% per annum for the next five years.

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Russia Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm advises foreign businesses on their investments into Russia and Russian businesses on their investments into Asia. We possess 28 regional offices across ASEAN, China, India and Russia. Please contact us at of visit us at

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