Russia calling – enhancing German-Russian business ties

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April 23, 2015
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German-Russian trade is expected to grow again. © Vadim Zhernov

thinkRUSSIA recently attended the presentation of a new initiative designed to bolster Russo-German business ties, specifically for SMEs.

German companies, big and small, have a long tradition of investing in Russia, and so do Russian companies investing in Germany. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation - or the CCI of Russia - has recently launched a new internet platform for German and Russian small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

As strong ties between major corporations currently dominate German-Russian business relations, the initiative is specifically looking to build supplementary connections and closer relations between smaller companies. This is not a surprising move considering the significant role that SMEs play in the global economy and their importance in driving growth.  The new platform aims to facilitate and strengthen the communication between these businesses and, in doing so, reinforce the bilateral ties between Russia and Germany.

The CCI of Russia recently hosted a conference in Berlin, giving participating businesses an opportunity to expand their network and exchange information. The event attracted some notable speakers, among them the head of the economic department of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Berlin, Sergey Babkin, as well as the chairman of CCI’s German representation, Sergey Nikitin. Both Babkin and Nikitin strongly emphasised the importance and untapped potential of SME cooperation for German-Russian relations which the new platform will help foster.

Egbert Drews, CEO of the networking agency Marwiko, also spoke at the conference and summarised the three main goals of the project, mainly:

  1. to develop and exploit new markets;
  2. to form clusters, and;
  3. to build closed chains of economic value added.

To achieve these goals, the CCI of Russia is hoping for increased activity by companies active in the Russian market, which the platform will help showcase. It will also seek to promote dialogue between German and Russian SMEs through conferences and other events, with the aim of uniting leading entrepreneurs from both economies and sharing best practices.

As part of the launch event, Ekaterina Wehmeyer of the CCI of Russia also presented the results of a survey among representatives of 327 Russian companies on their foreign activities. Of those interviewed, about one third had already undertaken business travels to other countries, focusing primarily on Germany, China and Kazakhstan – all seen as key growth areas. The purpose of these trips, according to the CCI’s data, is to find new business partners, learn about new marketing possibilities and meet budding entrepreneurs.

In this regard the new platform will certainly be able to support these businessmen and help create sustainable and lively German-Russian business networks throughout the year. Watch this space.

Do you think the communication between SMEs will improve as a result of this initiative?

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