Russia-Britain 2019 Trade Expected To Hit £12 Billion

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Opportunities For British Businesses Targeting China In Russian Far East

Boris Abramov, the Russian Trade Representative to the UK stated at the Russian-British Business Forum this week that Russia-UK trade had grown 8% in 2019 and was expected to reach £12 billion by the year end.

The Russian-British Business Forum is an annual event aimed at developing economic ties and cooperation between the two countries. This year’s event with the key theme ‘Digital infrastructure and industry’ is expected to attract over 1,000 British and Russian business leaders, officials, as well as representatives of development institutions and international organizations. Dezan Shira & Associates, who specialize in advising investment into Russia and assist with Russian businesses establishing operations in Asia, are members of the RBCC.

The growth of trade turnover between the two countries has been more rapid this year, Abramov said. He added that in the first nine months of this year Russia’s non-resource exports to the UK jumped 22 percent, while last year this figure stood at eight percent.
Another positive sign for boosting Russia-UK economic ties is growing bilateral investment, according to the trade official. In the last twelve months Russian direct investment into the UK rose from £156 million to just under £3 billion.

“Despite the volatility of the global economy, markets uncertainty and Brexit we are optimistic about our business relations with Britain.” Abramov stated.

Despite growth, the trade turnover between Russia and Britain is still relatively modest for the size of the countries’ economies. Relations between Moscow and London have been strained in recent years amid political scandals and allegations.

While government is “part of the problem,” the business community can do a better job and change the sour relations for the better, according to the chairman of InvestUK, Rupert Gather.
“It has to be led by SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] entrepreneurs…The government does have a role to play, but I think the main bridges are built by individuals.” Gather told media during the event.

“There are plenty of opportunities for British businesses in Russia” says Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates. “Some might be unexpected. When China agrees its tariff reductions as a result of its Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, UK businesses will be able to access the China market at reduced import rates. British businesses may discuss these opportunities with us to keep an eye on the situation.”

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