On June 3, 2019, the Expandeers' German-Russian Round Table in Hamburg took place on the premises of Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH. The 30 participants got a detailed overview with speeches on the current economic situation in Russia, insights in effective law enforcement and securing foreign investment and what to take in consideration when expanding into Russia.
The Russian market is still rather stable and the bilateral trade between German and Russia amounted to 65 billion USD in 2018. That however still means a lower level than before sanctions kicked in, where trade volume equalled 75 billion USD (2013). Problems of the Russian markets are in majority of political nature, to a lesser extend economically. In his key note General Consul Sharashkin pointed out that Russia is not to be seen as a country but as a continent: On federal level different instruments as special investment contracts can be obtained and decisions are taken quite fast on regional level. But for state tenders and public contracts a company must be registered as a Russian company. For example Klaas and Daimler are treated as Russian companies. Production in Russia for Daimler starts this year. Also he emphasized that although sometimes very hurtful and some business partners are unpredictable, sanctions can also be an opportunity. The Russians deal with European sanctions by either finding new substitutes, e.g. from China, making up with own resources or letting European companies setting up their own subsidiaries in Russia, so sanctions are not working at all. In the eyes of Mr. Sharashkin, sanctions primarily harm the German SME that used to work on the Russian markets. The lecture about positive experiences but also challenges that were faced (Meesenburg Gruppe Flensburg) demonstrated other aspects, e.g. if a Russian business partner reports insolvency it is very unlikely to get paid or that being too successful in Russia can result in a reduced margin over all.
We can summarize that Russia is a leading exporter of oil and gas and Russia prefers production in its own country. If expanding into Russia you'll need a very good preparation, know what you want, what clusters are available.
Networking and interesting discussions with coffee and very tasty snacks and cakes rounded up this successful event on the beautiful roof terrace with a great view over Hamburg.
We would like to thank our speakers: Mr. Andrei Sharashkin (Consul General of the Russian Federation, Hamburg), Dr. Gabriele Kötschau (Wirtschaftskooperationen West-Ost and Expandeers Partner), Mr. Sergej Nikitin (Head of the Representation of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation in Germany), Mr. Gerrit Stroomann (Managing Partner Expandeers), Murat Yucel (Export Managing Director of Meesenburg Group, Flensburg), Tim Rausching and Anna Bashkova (Lawyers of Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH), Mirco Nowak (CEO of Luno Group) and Olga Smokotova (Management Consultancy and Expandeers Partner) and special thanks to our sponsor Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH for their support.