Doing Business in Russia


By Sean Smith

Seeking new markets for your products and services? Interested in entering a hot new marketplace, filled with eager buyers, low tax rates and an able workforce? I may just have a solution for you.

Have you considered Russia?

Yes, Russia. A country with 142 million people, the ninth largest population in the world. A country that is the top oil producer in the world, and the number two producer of gas. A country with more than 87 billionaires, and one of the friendliest income tax rates in the world (at a flat 13%).

I learned about these statistics (and many more), during “Doing Business in Russia,” a breakfast seminar featuring Chet Bowling, Managing Partner for Alinga Consulting Group, a Moscow-based consulting group. Like Schneider Downs, Aligna is a fellow member of PrimeGlobal, the international association of accounting firms. Mr. Bowling visited Schneider Downs during his current tour of the United States, through which he is sharing information about the Russian economy and its continuing evolution as a world market. Eileen McEvoy of Citi Commercial Bank also provided insights.

According to Mr. Bowling, Russia is a market primed for American businesses, but companies must be prepared and aware of “the Russian way.” He spoke in detail about the unique political structure in Russia, the challenges of battling corruption and the importance of understanding the different business structures for foreign investors (each of which bears very unique tax and legal criteria). He explained the tax system in detail, and highlighted important migration laws that are essential to follow when delivering a workforce to Russia.

Western goods and expertise remain in demand in Russia, and Mr. Bowling cited several industries that seem to be growing at a rapid rate, including: 

  • Advanced Engineering
  • Financial Services
  • Power and Energy
  • Construction
  • Rail and Water

At the conclusion of the seminar, Mr. Bowling encouraged the group to continue exploring Russia as a new marketplace.

I found the seminar to be both informative and provocative, and I’ll consider Russia in a new light. If you’d like to learn more about the seminar, or receive the presentation slides, please feel free to contact me at ssmith@schneiderdowns.com.
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