Analysis

Russia and Italy: Doing Business Together

Despite the challenging situation of the last several years, the outlook for Italy–Russia economic ties looks very promising: the key macro indicators are on a positive upswing and the overall business climate is improving.

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Despite the challenging situation of the last several years, the outlook for Italy–Russia economic ties looks very promising: the key macro indicators are on a positive upswing and the overall business climate is improving.

If we look at the top export positions of Italy and Russia, we will come to a conclusion that the two countries have enormous potential to boost their cooperation in a variety of spheres. Russia’s exports are dominated by commodities, while Italy’s are mostly products of deep processing or hi-tech. Apart from its natural resources, the strongest side of Russia is its knowledge output, the strongest sides of Italy are its sustainability, commerce, competition and market scale.

For the Russian business, the biggest opportunity is export of liquefied natural gas: global demand is expected to double by 2030 and Italy will be one of its top consumers. In addition to that, Russian companies could benefit from collaboration with Italian companies to implement deep processing technologies in oil refining and steel production.

For Italian companies, the opportunities are in pharma and auto exports as these two sectors are expected to continue growing in Russia. The agricultural sector can be interesting too: R&D centers and universities all over Russia offer a variety of innovation technologies, but local demand remains very low (most Russian agri companies declare their interest, but are reluctant to actually implement them), so there could be a market for them in Italy.

There are a lot of other areas where successful partnerships can be established: from wine production to aviation. Despite the barriers that exist, the two nations have long-standing cultural ties and are mentally close, so all the preconditions for positive and constructive dialog are already in place.

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