Russo-British Chamber of Commerce invited its members and partners to RussiaTALK Investment Forum in Moscow last Friday. The forum moderated by Alf Torrents, RBCC Executive Director, was addressed by HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Sir Laurie Bristow, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Russia, Roger Munnings, RBCC Chairman, and Sergei Katyrin, Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman.
The speakers pointed out that Russia is a low-cost producing country where a weak national currency has become a competitive advantage while local business environment transformations offer huge opportunities to the UK companies, especially in food processing. Russia’s investment climate for various reasons has been perceived as sustainably negative and risky and the country indeed needs substantial volumes of financial, technical and management support, but the pessimistic perceptions are gradually vanishing as the true state of affairs is much more positive.
New technologies and R&D may make investing in Russia most attractive, as historically technology has always played a major part in economic progress. Over the next few decades the world will continuously need more and more energy and hence will require developing and implementing low carbon businesses, biofuel, electric vehicles, AI and digitalization, while products and their manufacturing will have to become closer to consumers.
A major priority for the Russian authorities in meeting the present-day challenges, is launching a digital economy which will certainly require updating national regulations, especially on Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and intellectual property rights. Yet technology is always linked to human capital, as success of a business strongly depends on the quality of people who nowadays must be willing and eager to expand their knowledge through life-long education, curiosity, ability to learn fast, and preparedness to make mistakes. Russia can offer all of that with its well educated and highly qualified labor force.
Russia in many respects is a leader in IT business, and one of the areas for its further advancements is launching major data centers which are more logical and economical for every country while also ensuring data sovereignty in times when volumes of stored data are exploding.
Once Russia’s national economy is truly successful, the need for business education will grow too, as business education will become critical in making future generations of entrepreneurs aware of the right opportunities.