Opportunities in Russia Seminar was held on 3 December 2019
Roughly 50 interested listeners gathered in Aalto University TUAS-building on 3 December to hear panelists and discuss Russia’s economy, politics and prospects for foreign firms and graduates in Russia.
The event was organized by the Finnish-Russian Commission for Scientific and Technological Cooperation/Working Group for Social Sciences, in cooperation with the Aalto University School of Business/CEMAT and East Office of Finnish Industries.
The panellists representing business, public sector and research underlined relatively positive business and career prospects in Russia, despite the persistent geopolitical tensions, sanctions and counter sanction and the modest macroeconomic growth in Russia. Overall, current economic and political instabilities have forced some Finnish investors to withdraw from Russia, but many have stayed making a profitable business. Furthermore, according to barometers and questionnaires Finnish businesses have relatively positive expectations for their Russian businesses. The general wage level in Russia is increasing and the low income-tax level boosts private consumption. Russia’s business climate has improved considerably lifting Russia upwards in International Doing Business rankings. Also, the low investment rate in Russia paves way for investments in several traditional and new sectors, such as waste management and housing services, as mentioned in the panel.
As regards Russia’s political prospects, the panellists reminded of polls that indicate Russian people being currently as unsatisfied as during the 1998 rouble crises. There are therefore constant signals of unrest in the society that may manifest themselves before the next elections.
Keynote Vladimir Miklashevsky, Senior Economist, Strategist, Chairman of the Board, Finnish-Russian Trade Association
The event was opened by Professor Riitta Kosonen, the chair of the Working Group, and moderated by Susanna Niinivaara, Director of Communications, Ministry for Transport and Communication.
Venla Laakkonen, Director for Marketing and Sales, YIT
Pia Sarivaara, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry for Economic Affairs and Employment
Sinikka Parviainen, Analyst, East Office of Finnish Industries
Veera Laine, Researcher, Finnish Institute of Foreign Affairs
Jekaterina Lindberg, Sustainability Specialist, Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce