British mid-sized businesses on a trade mission to Russia

Some 25 UK based business visited Russia last week with the aim to improve understanding of the commercial environment and boost trade and investment links with Russia.

The mission was led by Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green and CBI Director-General John Cridland. The 25 mid-sized firms that took part included Delcam, TAP Biosystems, Fiberweb, BOCM PAULS LTD and Mivan.

During the visit British firms were encouraged to explore new trade opportunities with Russia, the UK’s fastest growing major export market today. More than 600 UK companies already operate in Russia and UK exports total £5bn.

In the last two years, the value of British goods exported to Russia has increased by over 80%, making Russia the UK’s 11th largest export market. This is expected to grow further as Russia opens its economy up to more international trade and investment.

Lord Green said: “Russia is our fastest growing major export market and, with 140 million consumers looking for quality British products and services, it offers great opportunities for British businesses. Important steps such as Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation are making it easier for British firms to do business there.”

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, identifies opportunities for British firms in various sectors from energy to life sciences, as well as helping deliver the major sporting tournaments that Russia will be hosting in the coming years.

These include the 2014 Winter Olympics; the 2018 FIFA World Cup. There are also opportunities in areas such as the Skolkovo innovation hub, Russia’s aspirations for Moscow to become an international financial centre and Russia’s railways modernisation programme.

“We’ve identified a potential £30 billion export prize by 2020 if the UK creates the right business environment for our industries to thrive, and mid-sized businesses will be at the heart of this,” Cridland said.

Lord Green concluded: “Now is the time for British businesses to assist Russia in achieving its ambitious economic modernisation and infrastructure development goals.”

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