On 22 November 2012, Christopher Lascelles and Margarita Agapidou of State Solutions LLP attended the business conference “Russia: Practical Solutions 2012” in Newcastle organised by Albion Overseas Ltd with the support of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce (RBCC). The event gathered companies interested in doing business in Russia to learn about latest developments, share experiences and identify new opportunities. The agenda also included such issues as government support and legal issues for exporters, as well as the opportunities arising from Russia joining the World Trade Organisation.
Christopher and Margarita held a number of meetings and discussions with companies from various sectors: manufacturing, retail, medical, mining equipment producers, professional services (legal, financial and consulting) and others. Numerous British SMEs, those already doing business in Russia and those considering entering this exciting market, showed strong interest towards the idea of employing effective official government relations to improve their business efficiency. By estimates, over 3000 UK companies currently have a presence in Russia, with manufactured goods being the main export. In the period from 2009 to 2011, sales have more than doubled. The capacity for further growth is evident. The Russian economy has been surprisingly resilient to global turmoil, with real GDP expected to grow over 4% this year, and now Russia is the UK’s fastest growing export market.