Trade dialogue between Russia and the UK

British business more and more frequently looks in the direction of Russia. London experts believe that it is small wonder because the Russian market is growing rapidly and promising good prospects. Russia’s trade representative in the UK Dmitry Lebedev has told in an interview to The Voice of Russia radio about British people’s attitude to Russian business and their interest in starting a business in Russia.

Trade and economic relations between Russia and the UK have a long history and old traditions. The UK was the first country to establish trade relations with Soviet Russia in 1920. At present, British business appreciates the opportunities granted to it by the Russian market. Last year, British export to Russia grew by 50% and exceeded $7bln. Last year’s bilateral trade exceeded $21bln, Dmitry Lebedev says:

“British people believe that Russia is the most rapidly growing export market for the UK. The greater part of British export to Russia is manufactured products, transport vehicles, industrial equipment, chemical and pharmaceutical products. Russian export to the UK is still deliveries of primary products and materials based on long-term contracts. At the beginning of this year, the volume of accumulated British investment in Russia’s economy was $26.8bln. Importantly, our investments in British economy are also growing. The accumulated Russian investment in the UK was $3.8bln at the beginning of 2012. Even despite the continuing global crisis, our bilateral trade, economic and investment cooperation is showing positive dynamics.”

Russian companies and large corporations are actively penetrating into the British market. At present, they are mostly the leaders of Russian business, such as Gazprom and VTB Capital but a good beginning is half the battle, Dmitry Lebedev says. A lot of our companies have something to offer to the British market.

“It is navigation systems, radio stations, ships, gas turbines, digital maps and geographic information systems. Boosting exports of manufactured products, especially hi-tech ones, always requires considerable efforts. For example, we can mention cooperation between the Russian state corporation RosNano and Celtic Pharma. These companies are developing several projects on the British market, in particular, the production of new medicines – immunotherapeutic vaccines against cocaine and nicotine addiction.”

On the whole, traditionally strong Russian-British trade, economic and investment relations give an opportunity to look into the future with optimism, Dmitry Lebedev believes. Contemporary economic challenges that Russia and the UK are facing will be overcome and our ambitious goals will be achieved.

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