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Investing and making money in Russia

In 2011, Russiaís GDP was 1,5 times the figure for 2002 (in constant prices of 2008), industrial production increased 4.7%, and foreign trade turnover in Russia also rose Ė reaching USD 845.2 billion. In addition to all these indicators, PwCís 15th Annual Global CEO Survey indicates that global CEOs now view Russia as one of the top ten countries worldwide in terms of growth prospects for 2012, with one-third of them planning to invest in the country.

Russian Appearence

International Business Dress and AppearanceBusinessmen in Russia usually wear suits that are dark and well tailored along with good dress shoes. A businessmanís wardrobe demonstrates the individualís image as a professional.

International Business Dress and Appearance Men often do not take off their jackets in negotiations.

International Business Dress and Appearance Do not stand with your hands in your pockets. This is considered rude.

International Business Dress and Appearance Women dress rather conservatively, avoiding overly flashy or gaudy outfits.

International Business Dress and Appearance Women should always cover their heads when entering into any Russian Orthodox Churches.

International Business Dress and Appearance Skirts should be worn rather than pants.

International Business Dress and Appearance When attending dinner in a citizenís home, casual dress of slacks and a nice shirt without a tie are appropriate.

Russian Behavior

As a foreigner, you are expected to be on time to all business appointments. However, your Russian counterpart may be late, as this may be a test of your patience. Do not expect an apology from a late Russian, and do not demonstrate any kind of attitude if your business appointments begin one or two hours late. This may also be a test of your patience.

Social events are more relaxed. It is acceptable for foreigners to be 15 to 30 minutes late.

Patience is an extremely important virtue among Russians; punctuality is not.

Russians are known as great "sitters" during negotiations, this demonstrates their tremendous patience.

The U.S.S.R. was officially an atheist nation in the days of communism. Now, however, participation in religion in increasing, with many citizens practicing Protestantism, Islam, Russian Orthodoxy, and Judaism.

Some 'hard-line' Russians still view compromise as a sign of weakness, and often refuse to back down. To these individuals, compromising is bad business.

As a foreigner, you should realize that "Final Offers" are often not actually the end of the negotiations, and that often times the outcome will be more beneficial and attractive if you can hold out.

There is a Russian term meaning "connections" or "influences. It is extremely difficult to do business in Russia without help from a local. To help with this, gifts, money or other items are often a good idea when doing business in Russia.

If attending dinner at a family residence, it is appropriate to bring a gift, such as a bottle of wine, dessert, or a bouquet of flowers.

When shaking hands with someone, be sure to take off your gloves, as it is considered rude not to.

When attending any formal engagements such as the theatre, it is appropriate to check your coat and other belongings at the front door of the establishment.

Do not show the soles of your shoes, as this is considered impolite. They are considered dirty, and should never come in contact with any type of seat (like on a subway or bus).

Be sure to have plenty of business cards with double sides of information. One side should be printed in English, the other side in Russian.

Be alert and open to taking a drink or having a toast, as refusing to do so is a serious breach of etiquette.

Russian Communications

Russian is the official language.

Speaking or laughing loudly in public is considered rude, as Russians are generally reserved and somber.

Many Russians speak English, as it is often taught beginning in the third grade.

Russians are highly literate, and have almost a 100% literacy rate.

Good topics of conversation include peace, the current changes taking place in Russia, and their current economic situation.



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