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The Exciting Potential of the Russian Economy

People, who speak effusively about the massive opportunities in India and China, often overlook the Russian situation. Russia has a greater land mass than any other country. Its wealth of natural resources is staggering. Russia has such a large reserve of energy sources that all of Europe worries about its dependence on this giant! Russian technical human resources are also numerous and constitute a major talent pool which can confront most other nations.

The reduction from the Soviet Union days to the current splinter of Russia has not worked to its disadvantage in economic terms. Observers agree that Russia also has an advantage over the West in that its military operations are negligible in money terms. Successful Russian entrepreneurs seem to consume luxury goods from Japan, Europe, and the Americas, faster than they can be produced. Years of repression seem to have made no permanent dents in the materialistic appetites and inclinations of Russians! The country is therefore not just a massive supplier of energy, but an invaluable customer for manufactured goods. The scope for fresh investment in Russia with superior returns is in no way inferior to the attractions of China and India.

While Russia scores over China in that it is not ruled by a military regime, the democracy is shaky. Hopefully, these are teething problems for a new democracy, and we could see a better situation with Putin’s successor.

Large Western corporations have already reaped handsome returns from investments in Russia, but small and medium enterprises of the free world are yet to make any significant headway. Moves in this direction will help both producers and suppliers, and there a host of values and synergies which can be captured. Close and frequent interaction between small business people on both sides may expedite matters in this respect. Trade commissions of various countries in major Russian cities could also play useful roles if operated professionally rather than on bureaucratic lines.

 



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