The IRBA Business Breakfast Briefing took place on Monday, 29th September 2014 this week, to take an in depth look at the current Russian business climate and and ongoing developments.
The IRBA’s primary activities include: educating its members though various events, connecting with the market and peers, assisting on policy by engaging with related public bodies and organisations. Gerard MacCarthy, Director, Enterprise Ireland Russia / CIS & Head of the Commercial Department at the Embassy of Ireland in Moscow spoke at the event alsong with IRBA Chair Dr Constantin Gurdgiev who looked at issues of economy and macro-risks e.g. rouble valuations, credit supply, sanctions impact and risks for Russian demand side.
“From a trade point of view, the rouble euro-exchange rate, the so-called ‘Presidentail Ban’ targeted at the food sector as response of EU sanctions against Russia, and a volatile and unpredictable political and legislative environment are key current risk factors in dealing with the Russian market.”
Irish companies in the food sector have been hit hard, primarily by Russian sanctions against Europe, but also by the pork ban introduced at the beginning of the year, costing Ireland in total an estimated €100m in food related exports in 2014. Opportunities still remain, particularly in genetics, ingredients, and food technology / agricultural consultancy, and it is hoped that the current ban will be lifted in the short term.
Despite a volatile and unpredictable multilateral political landscape in the Russia/CIS region, Irish non-food companies have shown agility and resilience in engaging with what is, after all, the 3rd biggest non-EU exports market for Irish companies after the US and China.
The latest available figures show Ireland’s total exports to Russia increasing 28% from January to July in comparison with 2013, with July alone showing a 121% increase. The growth has been consitent over time – Enterprise Ireland client exports to Russia – which account for over 45% of the CSO figures – have increased 87% between 2008 and 2013, underlining that Irish companies which have committed to the Russian market are determined to follow through on market development strategies in the Russia/CIS region despite the obvious negatives.’’
– Gerard MacCarthy