01.12.2016 - Western firms invest billions in Russia as economy returns to growth
RT reports that a number of large Western corporations are increasing investment in Russia, with the country’s economy recovering from its deep decline, according to Bloomberg.
Global retailers like Sweden's IKEA and France's Leroy Merlin have started pouring billions of dollars into factories and stores in Russia betting on the potential of the market following two years of recession.
Leroy Merlin will reportedly spend €2 billion to double the number of outlets in Russia, while American food corporation Mars has already expanded to produce chewing gum and pet food locally.
IKEA reportedly intends to invest $1.6 billion into new stores over the next five years. Earlier this year, the Swedish retailer opened a $60 million factory in the city of Nizhny Novgorod and acquired land for another mall near St. Petersburg.
“This is the moment for investment, I strongly believe in the potential of the Russian market long-term,” said the general director of IKEA Russia, as quoted by Bloomberg.
The inflow of foreign investment into the country slowed two years ago after a series of anti-Russia sanctions introduced by Western nations over the conflict in Ukraine.
Major corporations like General Motors had to curtail operations in Russia. The devaluation of the ruble reduced companies’ dollar and euro revenues, though sharply cut operating costs.
“The last two or three years have been a disaster. Now, the situation is changing as the ruble exchange rate has stabilized and the Russian economy is forecast to return to growth soon,” said Frank Schauff, head of the Association of European Businesses in Moscow.
Foreign direct investment rose to $8.3 billion in the first nine months this year against the $5.9 billion invested in all of 2015, according to data compiled by the Central Bank of Russia. However, the figure is still below the level seen before the Ukraine crisis.
29.11.2016 - Russia is quickly moving to 5G communications — Ericsson VP
First 5G commercial systems will appear in 2020 but certain elements of this standard will go live much earlier, Vice President of Sweden’s Ericsson Ulf Pehrsson said
Russia is quickly progressing to 5G mobile communication technologies, Vice President of Sweden’s Ericsson Ulf Pehrsson told TASS.
"First 5G commercial systems will appear in 2020 but certain elements of this standard will go live much earlier. Developments in Russia reflect what is taking place in the world. The country is quickly moving to 5G," he said.
"Our clients prioritize what is called "the Internet of Things." We are interacting with major communication operators and individual clients to find solutions on this topic," Pehrsson added.
Ericsson is cooperating with Russia’s MTS. Testing of 5G technology in 5 GHz range was initiated this year. The parties planned to set up a 5G testing zone in 15 GHz range in the next year.
24.11.2016 - Swedish companies stay in Russia despite sanctions and tensions
"Trade-economic relations continue in the ‘business as usual’ format," the co-chairman of the Russian-Swedish Business Council said
STOCKHOLM, November 24. /TASS/. Swedish companies are not going to leave the Russian market despite a tense international situation and economic sanctions imposed against Russia over Ukraine, the co-chairman of the Russian-Swedish Business Council, Vladimir Dmitriev, said in Stockholm.
"Despite sanctions and a tense international situation on the whole, trade-economic relations continue in the ‘business as usual’ format," said Dmitriev, who took part in a Russian-Swedish investment forum at the Russian Trade Mission in Sweden.
"Swedish companies that have been operating in Russia since long are not going to curb their activity, while some even expand it. For example, Ikea - despite the problems that emerge," said Dmitriev, who is also vice president of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "Many companies produce component parts in Russia," he said.
Vice President of Ericsson Ulf Persson, for his part, said it was important to restore activity of the Russian-Swedish supervisory committee for trade and economic cooperation, suspended almost three years ago.
Russia’s Republic of Karelia, the Moscow region, Skolkovo research hub and some companies of the two countries presented their potentials to potential investors and partners.
Trade between Sweden and Russia declined between 2012 and 2015 from $10.1bln to $4.3 bln. This figure shrank by 16.4% year-on-year in the first nine months of this year, making up $2.75 billion.
Following the incorporation of Crimea after a coup in Ukraine, Moscow came under sanctions on from the United States and many European countries. The restrictive measures were soon ramped up following Western and Ukrainian claims that Russia was supporting the militias in self-proclaimed republics of Ukraine’s southeast and was involved in the destabilization of Ukraine.
As countermeasures, on August 6, 2014, Russia imposed a produce ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway.
On July 1, the European Union extended the sectoral economic sanctions against Russia until January 31, 2017. Reciprocally, Moscow has also lengthened the titfor-tat embargo imposed two years ago.