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Why does Putin want Crimea anyway?

Written by Tony Harkén on Wednesday, 19 March 2014. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Right 1, Right bottom - 8st

Why is a world leader prepared to risk personal opprobrium, his country’s isolation, and, possibly, crippling economic sanctions for an obscure piece of land?

Read the story here – Oil & Gas

Russian investment increasing in Finland

Written by Cecilia Helland on Tuesday, 28 January 2014. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Main 1, Right bottom - 8st

Russian investors make high-profile sporting acquisitions and Rosatom negotiates over nuclear power plant development in Finland.

Direct investments from Russia have more than doubled in Finland during the past ten years and currently total EUR 858 million, according to data from the Bank of Finland. Indirect investments through other countries involving Russian-owned companies may actually amount more than direct investments, according to professor Kari Liuhto from the Turku School of Economics.

Increasing Russian investment in Finland has been recently highlighted by the Finnish media. Rusatom Overseas, the subsidiary of Russia’s Rosatom state nuclear corporation, is currently in negotiations for developing a nuclear power plant in Finland. Rusatom is also negotiating about acquiring a 34% stake in the Finnish company Fennovoima.

Sporting investments

This summer, three prominent Russian businessmen Gennady Timchenko, Arkady Rotenberg and Boris Rotenberg, who also have Finnish citizenship, acquired a stake in the Finnish ice hockey team Jokerit. Their company Arena Events Oy is also acquiring Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, which is Finland’s largest ice hockey stadium and event venue, and where Jokerit plays its home matches. Jokerit will play in Russia’s KHL ice hockey league during the 2014–2015 season.

Smaller Russian-owned businesses are also active in Finland. Data from Suomen asiakastieto shows that every sixth new entrepreneur in south-eastern Finland is Russian. Accommodation and restaurant businesses are especially popular. Many Russian immigrants in Finland are selling products to Russia or providing services to Russian tourists, according to professor Riitta Kosonen from Aalto University. Russian entrepreneurs value the quality of life in Finland and corruption- free opportunities to run a business, she says.

Source: Talouselämä

Nations in Transit 2013

Written by Tony Harkén on Wednesday, 18 September 2013. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Main 1, Right bottom - 8st

Nations in Transit 2013 is Freedom House’s comprehensive, comparative study of democratic development in 29 countries from Central Europe to Eurasia.

This edition covers the period from January 1 through December 31, 2012 and measures progress according to the following indicators:  electoral process, civil society, independent media, national democratic governance, local democratic governance, judicial framework and independence, and corruption.

In 2012, autocratic regimes in Eurasia fought ener­getically to keep the threat of democratic change at bay. In some cases, govern­ments with established records of repression introduced new and arguably redundant measures to further constrain dissent, having already engaged in years of censorship, sub­jugated the justice system, and in some contexts resorted to violence. As a result, govern­ance institutions in the region’s autocracies grew more dysfunctional, less independent, and more prone to corruption.

Meanwhile in Central Europe, a public backlash against unpopular austerity measures de­stabilized several governments in 2012, testing the durability of democratic institutions. Despite frequent government changes and heightened political polarization, most states in the region were able to respond to mounting pressure without significantly straying from core democratic norms. Corruption in the Balkan states appears to be deepening, despite pressure from the European Union and international lending institutions to strengthen judicial independence and produce verdicts in high-profile cases. Across the region, political interests and personal connections between government and business regularly influence public tender and privatization procedures. Judicial institutions are overburdened and subject to political inter­ference. And journalists—particularly those covering organized crime and corruption—face political pressure, intimidation, and attacks.

Notable Trends in Nations in Transit 2013 include:

  • Assault on civil society in Eurasia
  • Electoral gains in Georgia and Armenia; abuses in Russia and Ukraine
  • Signs of strain under austerity in Central Europe
  • Persistent corruption in the Balkans

Access the Nations in Transit 2013

Failure On All Fronts: No Progress from G-20 Leaders

Written by Tony Harkén on Monday, 09 September 2013. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Right bottom - 8st, Right 2

The G-20 summit ended worse than expected on Friday -- with acrimony, division and name-calling over Syria.

The conference, which was originally conceived as an economic forum, also failed to deliver results on global recovery.

Read the full story at Spiegel Online

Russia gave UN 100-page report in July blaming Syrian rebels for Aleppo sarin attack

Written by Tony Harkén on Friday, 06 September 2013. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Left 1, Right bottom - 8st

Russia says a deadly March sarin attack in an Aleppo suburb was carried out by Syrian rebels, not forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, and it has delivered a 100-page report laying out its evidence to the United Nations.

Read the full story at McClatchy

G20 leaders' summit

Written by Tony Harkén on Friday, 06 September 2013. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Main 1, Right bottom - 8st

Heads of the world’s 20 leading economies meet in St. Petersburg to discuss how to stimulate economic growth.

More information about the participating countries here

Report - Putin Orders Massive Strike

Written by Tony Harkén on Saturday, 31 August 2013. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Main 1, Right bottom - 8st

Putin Orders Massive Strike Against Saudi Arabia If West Attacks Syria – Read the full report at LiveLeak

Russian wind turbine manufacturer to locate in Finland

Written by Tony Harkén on Friday, 22 March 2013. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Main 3, Right bottom - 8st

Establishing a business in Finland makes it easier for Russian companies to enter the European markets.

A Russian company that manufactures wind turbines is starting operations in Mikkeli, eastern Finland, according to Ville Paasanen who is a board member of the company and also the technology officer of the the Miktech innovation and technology center. The company is planning to focus on product development over the next year before entering the Finnish, European and North American markets.

According to Paasonen, locating a business in Finland makes it easier for Russian companies to enter the European market. Productivity is better in Finland than in Russia and the market value of products manufactured in Finland is also higher. The Russian wind turbine manufacturer will be using subcontractors in the Mikkeli region as much as possible.

Better productivity, higher value

“The cost of labour is higher in Finland but productivity is better. Also products with the label Made in Finland attract a better price even on the Russian markets than those with Made in Russia,” says Paasonen.

Finland also offers better logistics. “From Finland you can get to Germany in a day whereas in Russia it can take a week to get to Moscow,” says Paasonen.

Miktech provides business development services for technology companies and coordinates diverse projects mainly in its four focus areas: technology and wood product industry, digitization, bioenergy and environmental safety.

Source - Miktech

Finnish Caima offers tax-free web store for Russian customers

Written by Cecilia Helland on Monday, 04 February 2013. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Main 2, Main 7 - 3st

Online shopping in Russia is growing at an estimated annual rate of 30% but few Finnish companies are tapping into the huge market.

Finnish company Caima, based in Lappeenranta near the Russian border, has opened a web store selling tax-free sports and fashion goods which is targeting Russian tourists and consumers in addition to its Finnish clientele. Russian customers can either collect the goods in person or have them delivered tax-free to Russia. Caima is also aiming to provide an easy retail channel for other suppliers to the Russian market.

“We are marketing our web store actively in different media and the social media in Russia. The web store is receiving orders from the whole Russian-speaking area from the Baltic to the Barents Sea, and also from the Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakstan,” says Timo Miettinen, CEO of Caima. Miettinen used to work for Nokia and Vaisala and has set up the business with the help of a startup fund for former Nokia employees.

Huge growth in online shopping

Caima’s plan is also to offer an easy channel to the Russian markets for other suppliers and manufacturers. “We are actively looking for other suppliers that fit with our product selection, and we also provide consultancy to other retailers about online retail in Russia and tax-free web retail,” says Miettinen, who has a great deal of knowledge about ecommerce in Russia thanks to his previous work.

Online shopping is booming in Russia, with an estimated annual growth rate 30%. The total value of web purchases by Russians is estimated to reach EUR 36 billion by the year 2015. So far only a few Finnish companies have started to tap into the huge potential of the Russian market with their own Russian language web stores.

Source: Federation of Finnish Commerce

Retail Chains' Race for Russia

Written by Tony Harkén on Tuesday, 08 January 2013. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Main 1, Right bottom - 8st

Thanks to relative political stability and strong oil and gas prices, Russia's retail turnover more than quintupled from 2001 to 2011 and now exceeds US$600 billion annually.

Data suggest that this sector is entering the steepest part of its growth curve.

How will Russia's retailers face the challenges of this critical period of expansion? Will foreign retailers manage to get a slice of this growing pie?

Read the full story - Retail Chains' Race for Russia

EU - Russia Summit

Written by Cecilia Helland on Wednesday, 19 December 2012. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Main 1, Right bottom - 8st

EU27 deficit in trade of goods with Russia down to 65 bn euro in the first nine months of 2012

Read more at Eurostat

Global Economic Outlook 3rd quarter 2012 - The Summer Lull

Written by Tony Harkén on Wednesday, 15 August 2012. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Main 1, Right bottom - 8st

Deloitte Research’s Global Economic Outlook offers timely insights from Deloitte Research’s team of economists about the trends and events that are shaping the marketplace.

This edition offers economic outlooks for the Eurozone, the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Japan, India, Russia, and Brazil.

The Global Economic Outlook report is published quarterly by Deloitte Research in the United States (part of Deloitte Services LP).

Download the full Global Economic Outlook here – Deloitte

Global Outlook - A Dry Summer

Written by Tony Harkén on Friday, 03 August 2012. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Left 1, Left 2 - 3st

Asian emerging economies will contribute less to growth as China and India negotiate soft landings, while Latin American policymakers have scope to add fiscal and monetary stimulus.

Full Report Here

Russian company to benefit from 'Made in Finland' label

Written by Tony Harkén on Tuesday, 26 June 2012. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Main 6 - 3st, Main 6

Finland's law-abiding reputation attracts Cytomed to invest in pharmaceutical and soya factories in Finland.

Russian-owned company Cytomed Oy has built a pharmaceutical factory in Joutseno, located near Lappeenranta in eastern Finland, close to the border with Russia.

Cytomed aims to benefit from the positive image of products “Made in Finland” that it is planning to export to Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Cytomed's EUR 12 million factory in Lappeenranta will be producing medicines mainly for skin diseases, urological complaints and children's diseases. Cytomed is also in the process of constructing a soya factory in Uusikaupunki on Finland's western coast.

According to Cytomed's managing director Julia Volkoff, the decision to invest in Finland was also influenced by the speed and price of construction work in Finland. The most important factor, however, was that in Finland laws work and they are respected.

Source: Talouselämä

Marriage rate twice as high in China as in the EU27

Written by Tony Harkén on Friday, 01 June 2012. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Right 3, Left 2 - 3st

Eurostat presents a range of statistics to compare the EU with Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Read more here

The BRIC countries slow down

Written by Cecilia Helland on Sunday, 01 April 2012. Posted in Russia, Artiklar om Ryssland, Main 5 - 3st, Main 6

Compared to last fall, the outlook for the global economy has improved, mainly thanks to a calmer situation in the euro zone, a recovery in the U.S. economy and a belief that emerging countries will be able to land softly.

The situation in the euro zone has improved in terms of confidence and risks, but the outlook for the real economy is as weak as before. A setback with loss of confidence may come when the effects of ECB loans slow down and the focus is again directed at the Monetary Union´s incomplete design and the crisis countries' long-term ability to recover.

The BRIC countries slow down, which is natural because of the economic slowdown in the West and the former need to tighten up the economies to avoid overheating. The economic policies being implemented include protectionism, state capitalism, undisciplined budgets and shortages that create overheating. Corruption remains a major problem that is not sufficiently controlled.

There is a risk that the BRIC countries will underperform in the economic policy and will obtain a less optimal economic and social development.

Cecilia Hermansson – Swedbank

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    Why does Putin want Crimea anyway?

    Why is a world leader prepared to risk personal opprobrium, his country’s isolation, and, possibly, crippling economic sanctions for an obscure piece of land? Read more

Time in Moskva, Ryssland

RU-MOS - Time