Deutsche Bank hosted a conference for investors from Russia and Germany in Berlin on Monday, April 15. The conference, “Russians Go Global”, explored both the opportunities and challenges for Russia as well as ways to further expand its economic ties with Germany.
In his opening speech, Jürgen Fitschen, Co-Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee, said that the German MidCap sector (“Mittelstand”), which produces and provides innovative capital goods worldwide, can make a significant contribution to the modernisation of Russia.
A structural change in Russia’s local economy and the creation of a strong “Mittelstand” could drive growth in the country, he explained. Fitschen said that Russia should continue on its current path of modernisation and should open up further to international trade relations. Russia could also benefit from Germany with regards to vocational education, he added.
“The theme of today’s conference is ‘Russians Go Global’, and for many years Deutsche Bank has been a proud partner of the Russian economy on this path of international expansion,” said Fitschen.
In a panel discussion led by Pavel Teplukhin, Chief Country Officer of Deutsche Bank in Russia, financial and business leaders from Russia and Germany looked at the opportunities that are to be gained from long-term economic cooperation between the two countries. The panel highlighted that precisely because of Russia’s need and aim for modernisation, the country is a very important and receptive market for exports and investments.
German investors currently hold capital investments in 6,500 companies in Russia, and while the majority of Russian regions actively promote foreign investments, the panellists agreed that conducting business in Russia requires special attention and careful advice given the particularities of the country. An anti-corruption law established by the Russian government has addressed one of the main issues of foreign trade relations, but customs clearance, certification and administrative procedures often remain difficult, they said.
In the conference participated representatives of Russian and German regulators, heads of large and mid cap corporate, including Alexey Simanovsky, First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, Anatoli Aksakov, President of Association of Regional Banks of Russia, Philipp Missfelder, Member of the German Bundestag, Foreign Policy, Mario Mehrer, Member of the Board of Executive Directors with responsibility for the “Russia” Board Department, Wintershall Holding GmbH, Anatoly Karachinsky, President IBS Group.
The conference was arranged with support of German-Russian Forum, Wintershall, Alvarez&Marsal and Forbes.
Economic cooperation between Germany and Russia is not limited to a select few projects nor limited regionally. Rather, German companies are engaged in 80 of Russia’s 83 regions, and the modernisation partnership between the two countries, which includes a focus on supporting the “Mittelstand”, follows a broad approach.
Germany accounts for 8.7% of Russia’s foreign trade volume, making it Russia’s third-most important trade partner after China and the Netherlands. Russia’s most important exports are commodities, mainly oil and natural gas, as well as metallurgical and petrochemical goods. Meanwhile, Germany mostly exports products from the mechanical engineering, automotive, chemical, data processing and electrical equipment sectors.
Deutsche Bank commenced business in Russia more than 130 years ago. In 1998, it founded Deutsche Bank Russia, which today has more than 1,000 employees, making it one of the biggest foreign banks in Russia.