Sweden has traded with Russia since the time of the Vikings. The Nobel brothers and Ericsson among others were active on the pre-revolutionary Russian market in the beginning of the 20th century. Sweden and Swedish innovation has still today a strong reputation and are associated with positive traits.
Swedish companies are in general seen as good business partners in Russia. The political turbulence and sanctions have hindered trade in some sectors of late, most of all in public procurement. Despite this, the market size and the geographical vicinity makes Russia an interesting market with many business opportunities for Swedish companies.
More than 400 Swedish companies are present in Russia with registered subsidiaries. Swedish export to Russia has increased for the last several years. During the year of 2018, Sweden exported goods for a value of approximately 21,1 billion SEK to Russia, showing a 3% growth, although a year earlier (2017) there was a 28% increase. It amounts to a change in the exports of -30% since 2014 and can be traced to the last years' political unrest in Russia and the neighbouring area, the slumping oil price and, in general, weakened economy.
Swedish imports from Russia during the year of 2018 amounted to 52,0 billion SEK, which is equal to a decrease of 32% from 2014. The main import goods from Russia are oil and energy products.
The internet penetration rate is high in Russia today. A large number of Swedish companies are active within growing industries like ICT and online services. There is a large pressure to localize industrial and agricultural production in Russia. This trend gives opportunities for products and services, which increase the level of modernization and potentiation. For example, there is a great need for this within the municipal infrastructure for energy, waste management and water purification. Many producers in Russia import components from abroad to fulfil high demands on quality, durability and efficiency.
Business Sweden has been present in Russia since 1994. Today we cover the market from Moscow, where there currently is around ten people working. Business Sweden in Russia also covers Belarus, Caucasus, Greece, Cyprus and one person at the office works full time to support Business Sweden in Kazakhstan and the Central Asian markets.
Business Sweden in Russia has great experience in helping Swedish companies with contacts to big companies, public procurers and governmental agencies. Questions about legal compliance within HR and staffing, accounting and sanctions have become more common lately. We have performed a large amount of projects within medtech and the pharmaceutical business and we hold a large and useful network within these areas.