Russo-British Chamber of Commerce (“RBCC”)
The last 15 months or so have clearly presented considerable challenges to companies and organisations involved in business between the UK and Russia, what with political tensions over Ukraine, sanctions, the effect of the drop in oil price on the Russian economy, and a falling rouble. Also, a lack of predictability as to what things will look like in the coming months, let alone in a few years, is off-putting to those who trade with Russia and potential investors into the country. But the fundamentals of Russia, which made it the UK’s fastest-growing export market a few years ago, have not gone away. If sanctions do not impact on your company’s products and the buyer is not in some way sanctioned, Russia is still a very interesting and potentially profitable market thanks to its size, extensive industrial base, ambition to develop its infrastructure, aspirational middle class with an appetite for quality products, and a genuine fondness for the ‘British Brand’.
There are a number of projects in Russia that offer particular opportunities to companies from the UK – and which will be snapped up by companies from other countries if UK companies do not grasp them. Examples are road, rail, and logistics projects, the development of hi-tech clusters, and the staging of the 2018 Football World Cup in various cities around Russia, which offers potential work in the fields of architecture, logistics, ticketing, transport, hotels, catering, branding, etc.
There have always been numerous preconceptions and myths about doing business in Russia and with the Russians. The truth is that it is a challenging market, but companies that invest sufficiently in research, planning, and getting to know the country rarely face difficulties any worse than in other developing markets, and those that forge the necessary relationships do develop valuable business there and tend to remain in the market for the long term.
The Russo-British Chamber of Commerce is a bilateral, non-governmental organization that has existed since 1916 to promote and encourage trade, business, and investment between our two countries. We have done this by providing advice and assistance and by organising conferences, seminars, trade missions, networking evenings, and other opportunities for business people from each country (RBCC members and others) to meet and develop long-term business relationships.
We remain committed to these ideals and aims and will continue to organize topical events on relevant themes, including the challenges companies may face in the current climate. As we have always done, we will act as a reserve of knowledge and experience, influence opinion to the extent appropriate, and reach out to new regions and members.
We firmly believe that Russia and the UK continue to represent attractive investment and trading destinations for UK and Russian companies respectively.
Our members range from global corporates to SMEs, covering the full range of business sectors.