Rossiyskaya Gazeta (25.03.2014): Strangers at Home. Foreigners assess business climate in Russia

The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and communications agency FleishmanHillard Vanguard conducted a study dedicated to the assessment of business climate in Russia by foreign entrepreneurs. The organizers of the survey were foremost concerned with how business conditions are perceived by the representatives or businesses offices and joint ventures with a capital participation of leading transnational corporations who play an active role in the formation and development of Russian economy, social environment and infrastructure.

The report reflects changes in perception of the business environment in the country over the past three years. 42 percent of respondents believe that the business climate in Russia has improved slightly over the past year. 29 percent believe that it has not changed. Only 8 percent said that they have noticed a significant deterioration.

The main difficulty, which was cited by half of the respondents, was lack of qualified personnel. Two years ago, only 20 percent of foreign entrepreneurs complained about the issue of personnel.

“Lack of qualified personnel, bureaucracy and corruption are the most acute problems for German companies represented in Russia”, said the chairman of the Russian-German Chamber of Commerce (VTP) Michael Harms. “This confirms the results of a survey conducted by us at the end 2013. We are taking all possible measures to address these difficulties. Thus, last year VTP signed an agreement with the Agency for Strategic Initiatives to reform the system of dual vocational education in Russia. A commissioner for dual education has been working at the Foreign Trade Chamber since the beginning of 2014.  He will coordinate the proposals of Russian partners and German companies who have their production in Russia. The perception of the business climate by companies is complicated by the situation around Ukraine. Many are concerned and waiting for the situation to clear up. At the same time, companies could suspend their projects in Russia, having reviewed their business strategies.”

14 infrastructure spheres that are needed for business activities received 4.1 points out of possible 7. Nevertheless, this is 0.1 points more than the results from the previous two years. The share of foreign companies supporting social projects in the region grew from 46 percent to 56 percent, which is a fact that brings us nothing but joy.