Export Britain


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Largest city

Administrative divisions
8 federal districts

Russian ruble (RUB)

17,075,400 km2

143,300,000 (2012)

Calling code

Official language

Latest Business Opportunities

See more opportunities for Russia.

Ease of trading across borders

Importing a standard container of goods into Russia requires:



With over 140 million consumers, a growing middle class, and almost unlimited infrastructure needs, Russia remains one of the most promising markets for UK exporters. Russia is a geographically vast market, spanning nine time zones and encompassing over 17 million square miles. Russia's GDP growth rate for the last five years has substantially exceeded that of most industrially developed countries. Growth is driven by high commodity prices and booming domestic consumer demand.

Economic snapshot (% annual growth rate)

GDP 4.3 3.4 3.9
Export of goods and services 0.3 1.0 5.1
Import of goods and services 20.3 9.5 7.8
inflation 8.4 5.1 5.7
Short-term interest rates (%) 7.7 7.3 7.6
Exchange rate (per £) 51.6 48.7 52.05
Population -0.1 -0.1 -0.1
Unit labour cost 5.0 5.8 19
Source: Oxford Economics

Economic outlook

The economy grew by 3.4% last year, however revisions to the profile of GDP indicated that activity was stronger in the second half of 2012 than previously thought, implying an improved base effect for growth this year. Growth over the short term is likely to be driven by domestic demand with households’ purchasing power supported by the continued strength of labour market conditions as the unemployment rate has recently fallen below its pre-crisis trough. The economy is expected to grow by 3.2% this year, followed by 3.9% in 2014.

Trade outlook

The economy remains dominated by the oil and gas sector, which accounts for around 15% of GDP and some 65% of export earnings. Russia is primarily a commodities exporter and this position will be maintained. Russia’s primary import sectors are cars, car components, pharmaceuticals, computers and consumer electronics. Russia’s main trade partners include China, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Japan with expected trade with all of them set to increase in volume terms over the next 15 years.

SWOT analysis

Emerging middle class
Energy independence
Large domestic market
Uneven economic development
Political risk
2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games & FIFA World Cup 2018
Oil & gas
Advanced engineering and manufacturing technologies
Ageing infrastructure
Falling oil prices
Demographic decline

Russia's trade with the UK

Sector segmentation growth

Sectors to watch:
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical & surgical equipment
  • Other precision equipment
  • Rubber & plastics
  • Motor vehicle bodies & parts

Fastest-growing exporters into Russia

1 Malaysia
2 Vietnam
3 Argentina
5 Mexico
6 Canada
7 Turkey
8 Indonesia
9 Saudi
10 Bangladesh

Total merchandise trade - Leading import partners

Total merchandise trade - leading import partners
Opportunities for UK businesses

The Russian Government is putting a lot of effort into attracting more investment into the country. The Government’s economy modernisation and infrastructure development agenda together with an increasing consumer appetite for quality services and goods make Russia a very attractive target for British exports. Western goods and expertise remain in demand. The most promising opportunities for UK companies are in the advanced engineering, financial services, IT, energy, sports & leisure, infrastructure (particularly the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics) and construction.

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