US Businesses Have Invested Nearly US$100 Billion In Russia

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American companies operating in Russia have made direct investments amounting to a total of US$96.05 billion, according to the sixth annual joint survey of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia (AmCham) and Ernst & Young.

The survey, which focused on the prospects for direct investment and bilateral trade between Russia and the US, was based on data from 160 companies. According to its findings, US firms invested more than US$2.2 billion in the Russian economy in 2020 alone, and plan to invest around US$1.8 billion more in 2021. Over a half of this money will go to Russia’s energy and natural resources industry.

“Despite the decline in activity in 2020 … 84% of companies reported that they are planning to launch new projects in Russia in the near future. This is a record value during the time of our study. For 73.5% of US companies surveyed, Russia is a strategic market.” Ernst & Young partner Sophia Azizian said at the 21st AmCham Investment Conference last week.

According to the survey, 78% of companies felt a negative impact of US sanctions on their Russian business, compared to 80% last year.

“The restrictions put American business at a disadvantage compared to companies from other countries and create reputational risk,” the survey says.

Also, as per AmCham findings, “official statistics underestimate the actual level of economic relations between Russia and the US,” with bilateral investment figures obtained by researchers as part of the survey being at least nine times higher than the official figures.

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Russia Briefing is written by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm has 28 offices throughout Eurasia, including China, Russia, India, and the ASEAN nations, assisting foreign investors into the Eurasian region. Please contact Maria Kotova at russia@dezshira.com for Russian investment advisory or assistance with market intelligence, legal, tax and compliance issues throughout Asia.

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