This fall the members of Russia’s State Duma, the national legislature, are up for election and it is widely assumed that United Russia will again have a comfortable margin although other parties will be represented in the next Duma, as at present. Nationwide, thousands of candidates, representing three or four organized parties, or no party, stand for election at all levels of government in the Russian Federation on a continuing basis… Russia today is a free market democracy.
In March 2012, it is likely that four candidates for President of Russia will once again offer themselves to the electorate. Both Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin have kept everyone guessing as to which man, as between these two favorites, will vie for the head of government position… My hope and expectation is that President Medvedev will be that man. Read more →
Today, I will wrap up our miniseries with a few final thoughts. The seas in Russia, as elsewhere, for doing business and investing, are always churning and the political atmosphere ebbs and flows, not in predictable waves. “I feel a free person” is a sentiment uttered by 70% of Russians today, as opposed to 42% in 1992. Chaos reigned after the 1996 re-election of Boris Yeltsin, as the oligarchs who had financed his survival, asserted themselves in politics. Order was re-imposed under Vladimir Putin starting in 2000 and in 2003, continuing with Khodorkovsky’s imprisonment. Also, in 2003, a flat income tax was enacted, businesses stopped transfer pricing profits abroad, consolidated operations, got full audits and corporate transparency and stock market investing took off… Read more →
Over the next couple of days, I will be writing a miniseries that will provide you with an overview on what’s it’s been like doing business and investing in The Russian Federation during the last twenty years. In the process I hope to illustrate the improvements that have occurred during this period and, although doing business in Russia still has its challenges, it is a vastly different investment climate that the one I first encountered twenty years ago. Foreign places are by definition foreign to us. Being from New Jersey, in fact, I feel out of sorts most places l go. In this miniseries I will present three very different business investments I have developed in this foreign Eurasian country:
- A life insurance company launched into the Russian home market in 1993
- The Russian internet company used today by over 27 million people…
- And finally an oil & gas company based in Denver, Colorado
It is my hope in presenting this miniseries that my experience in these very different business sectors will provide you with some insights into the realities of operating in the Russian market. Read more →