A September to remember for the Russo-British Chamber
Despite the ongoing challenges, September has demonstrated that the appetite for trade and investment continues between the UK and Russia. The Russo-British Chamber of Commerce (RBCC) was delighted to hold its Centenary Business Forum at BMA House (headquarters of the British Medical Association) at the end of September. Attended by around 200 delegates, including His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent, His Excellency Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the UK, and Sergey Katyrin, President of the Russian Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RFCCI), the ‘Regions to Regions’ Forum was a valuable opportunity to continue, develop and strengthen the dialogue of Russo-British business.
The forum featured three insightful panel discussions, covering a variety of topics ranging from the commodities sector, logistics and infrastructure, to prospects within the ecommerce/ technology spheres in Russia. With around 70% of Russia’s population having direct access to the internet – the highest percentage of population among the BRICS economies – combined with the demand for expertise for the upcoming World Cup 2018, the ecommerce, technology and telecommunications sectors present a significant opportunity for UK businesses.
What was particularly important about this year’s forum was the arrival of a special delegation from Russia, headed by Sergei Katyrin of the RFCCI, comprising of heads of regional chambers of commerce in Russia. Representing regions such as Moscow, Ural and Tomsk, the members of the delegation appeared on our various panel discussions, inviting UK exporters in the audience to consider the wealth of opportunity that lies within these regions. This was followed by a lunch in which the representatives of the delegation had the opportunity to meet with delegates from various UK chambers of commerce, such as Liverpool, Manchester and Surrey.
There have always been numerous preconceptions and myths about doing business in Russia. It goes without saying 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. That the RBCC is celebrating its centenary year, is testament to the fact that business has been done, can be done and ultimately continues being done successfully in Russia!
The RBCC is pround of its bilateral structure and ethos. The offices in London, Moscow and St Petersburg are staffed by English and Russian-speaking teams with extensive experience of helping those trading and investing in both directions. They provide up-to-date advice and market-entry support over the telephone, in meetings, through the website, a quarterly printed Bulletin and e-newsletters. Topical events, ranging from informal networking evenings to full-scale conferences, are regularly organised in all three locations and the chamber also reaches out into the UK and Russian regions to provide information and guidance on market approaches.
For more information, please visit www.rbcc.com