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Campus inSaint Petersburg

Russia and Switzerland Talk on Academic and Business Cooperation Perspectives

The Higher School of Economics in St Petersburg held a Russo-Swiss Seminar on Perspectives in Academic and Business Cooperation on November 29, 2017.

As the cooperation between Russia and Switzerland on investments demonstrates positive dynamics, Swiss investment in Russia’s economy excels other key players on the market, Japan and China.

The major Swiss investors to Russia – Nestle in food and beverages, ABB (Asea Brown Boveri Ltd.) in electric power equipment for industries, construction and housing and utility services, Schindler Russia in elevator and escalator equipment, Lafarge Holcim producing construction materials, and Novartis in pharma industry. Novartis Neva plant opened at special economic zone Novoorlovskaya in 2015.

All in all, over 600 companies with Swiss capital are registered in Russia. Among Russian key investors to Switzerland are Renova group of companies, United Company RUSAL, and Sual Group (Siberian-Urals Aluminium Company).

Reference

By the end of 2016, turnover between Russia and Switzerland increased compared to previous year by 10,1% and reached 5 billion US dollars. According to the first half of 2017, trade rebound by 9,5% in comparison to similar period of 2016 rated at 2,3 billion US dollars, including export that amounts to 1,4 billion US dollars (raised by 13,6%), and import for 0,9 billion US dollars (raised by 1,3%).

The seminar participant, Assistant Professor, St Petersburg School of Economics and Management, Department of Management Tatiana Grischenko comments on this:

'I was telling in my today’s report that business always seeks opportunities to solve any economic issues by various strategies. That exactly what’s been discussed. If it all comes down to sanctions, anti-sanctions in export and import, the companies refocus to localization according to the cases we’ve considered. Since 2014, we witness upward trend in investment to Russia from US companies – they most likely localize in the country. There are 318 on the record. On the one hand, there are political challenges, on the other business discovers prospects'.

This process demonstrates the need in further development of business and academic relations between the countries. University cooperation opens ways for Swiss and Russian students to get acquainted with specific business environment on each, to enhance and to strengthen prospects of our cooperation.

Within the seminar, the participants heard the representatives of HSE University in St Petersburg and Bern University and explored real cases of business internalization when Swiss companies entered Russia’s market.