23 October 2014
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RUSSO-BRITISH ECONOMIC RELATIONS

Economic co-operation continues to be one of the priority areas of the Russia-UK relations. The UK remains one of Russia’s leading foreign trade and investment partners. Trade volumes have recovered after a slowdown caused by the global financial crisis and reached $23.2 bln in 2012. Britain was fifth in accumulated foreign investments in Russia, totaling $26.7 bln in 2012. Today hundreds of British companies continue to successfully operate in the Russian market. Russian business presence in the UK is expanding too. Among the most attractive areas of investment co-operation are the financial sector, retail trade, mechanical engineering, metallurgy, mineral resources industry, transport, communications, pharmaceuticals, real estate. Bilateral dialogue between regions is also becoming more active and increasingly involves Russian as well as British regions.

The London Stock Exchange remains a leading international platform for our companies working with investors in the global capital markets with more than 60 Russian and Russian-focused companies traded in London. Among them - Sberbank, Gazprom, Lukoil, Rosneft, Norilsk Nickel, VTB, X5 Retail Group, SISTEMA, MegaFon and others.

The two countries’ governments are actively promoting further expansion of our economic co-operation, which is one of the primary elements for ensuring positive development of Russia-UK relations. The 9th meeting of the Intergovernmental Russian-British Steering Committee on Trade and Investment (ISC) was held in October 2012 in London. At the meeting the business representatives of our countries confirmed their interest towards further intensification of co-operation for modernization and development of knowledge-based areas of economy, including innovations and nanotechnology, financial services and the creation of an international financial centre in Russia, as well as energy and energy efficiency, preparation of large-scale international sports events, small and medium enterprise development, and others.

Russia-UK trade and economic cooperation: politicians and business leaders speak up

“Trade is growing rapidly between our two countries. From the UK side Russia is now most rapidly growing export market”.

From UK Business Secretary Vince Cable speech after the 9th session of the Russian-British Intergovernmental Steering Committee on Trade and Investment (ISC), London, 29 October, 2012

“The UK welcomes President Putin’s signing of the Russian Federation’s Protocol of Accession to the WTO which completes their ratification process to join the WTO…

The UK is keen to strengthen our existing trade relationship… We look forward to working closely with Russia in the context of the WTO with the goal of supporting further trade liberalisation to our mutual benefit“.

Russia's accession to the WTO - Vince Cable statement

«On the Winter Olympics, on my last visit to Russia, I brought a plane of British business leaders keen to seize the opportunities posed by these games, and they have, as you said, done just that, with over fifty companies involved, from Populous to help design the main stadium, to Aggreko, who will be providing some of the power».

UK Prime Minister David Cameron, 12 May 2013

«Our trade, economic and investment co-operation is growing. Our bilateral trade increased by 10 percent in 2012, and it was up by almost 30 percent in the first two months of 2013… The energy sector is one of the most promising fields of cooperation. As you know, one of Britain’s biggest companies, BP, has acquired an almost 20-percent stake in Rosneft, one of Russia’s biggest oil and gas companies».

Russian President Vladimir Putin, 12 May 2013

“Looking at our relations, yes, our trade, economic and investment relations have indeed been very good, excellent, I would even say, although here too there is still room for improvement … We have made a big advance in deepening our partnership in the high-technology field. We just signed a declaration on a knowledge-based modernisation partnership, the aim of which is to give our relations a modernisation agenda”.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the press conference after talks with UK Prime Minister David Cameron in the Kremlin, Moscow, 12 September 2011

“On our commercial relationship we agreed on the need to increase trade and investment between Britain and Russia and on the partnership we’ve just signed to support modernisation”

UK Prime Minister David Cameron at the press conference after talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the Kremlin, Moscow, 12 September 2011

“If we are to earn our living in the rest of the world, we also need to forge stronger relationships with countries like Brazil, Russia, India, China, Turkey, Nigeria and South Africa … It’s in our interests – and Russia’s – to offer British companies new opportunities to trade and invest, to support Russia joining the World Trade Organisation and to develop our partnership in key growth sectors like science and innovation”

Prime Minister David Cameron speaking at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, London, 14 November 2011

“Clearly there is a lot of progress that we can make in the economic area and the knowledge partnership that we talked about”

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague at the press conference after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, 13 October 2010


“Both our countries are resolute to increase the energy efficiency of our economies and to reform electricity markets in order to attract new investment into the ageing infrastructure. We also have common interests in energy security … For the UK energy security means stable supplies. For Russia – reliable demand”

From “Energy Fellowship between the UK and Russia”, article by UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne published in the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily, 11 November 2011

 “All signs are that the Russian market, while presenting challenges, is an attractive one. The UK stands ready to be a key economic partner for Russia”

From UK Business Secretary Vince Cable keynote speech at the UK-Russia Market Opportunities Seminar, London, 26 October, 2011

“I would like to see more engagement by British SMEs in Russia; I think that that’s an important challenge for Britain, to get more SMEs engagement in international trade and to get those that are already engaged to spread their wings to more countries”

From “Russia and the UK: Trading Up”, an interview with Lord Green, UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment, published in the First Magazine’s Special UK-Russia Edition, September 2011

"Russia is our fastest growing major export market and, with 140 million consumers looking for quality British products and services, it offers great opportunities for British businesses. Important steps such as Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation are making it easier for British firms to do business there."

The London Olympics showed the UK delivering an outstanding summer of sport on time and on budget. Now is the time for British businesses to build on this legacy and assist Russia in achieving its ambitious economic modernisation and infrastructure development goals.

Lord Green, UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment, at 27 November 2012 during the visit of trade mission to Russia

“Opportunities for British business abound in this fast growing market, from energy to life sciences to helping deliver the major sporting tournaments that Russia will be hosting in the coming years".

John Cridland, CBI Director-General at 27 November 2012 during the visit of trade mission to Russia

“A new chapter is being written now in the history of our countries’ relations. The first round of bilateral talks at the highest level in years was successfully held in September in Moscow, with a whole range of arrangements reached on bilateral and multilateral issues. Certainly, some differences in approaches still remain – no one can expect otherwise from major countries. But business collaboration, as a foundation for the overall system of our bilateral relationship, once again became the focal point of the discussions”

From the message from Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko to the guests and participants of the RussiaTALK Investment Forum, November 2011