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Past Issue
February 2008

The USRCCNE Monthly Newsletter
For those with interests bridging the US and Russia...


Josh Wilson, USRCCNE EditorWelcome!
From Josh Wilson, General Editor, USRCCNE

Our first-of-the-New-Year newsletter is a compilation of some of the best articles we've come across which summarize 2007 and look ahead to 2008. Russia's economy will face several major challenges, but still has great potential for growth in consumer goods, tech, business support, financial markets, timber, and agriculture just to name a few of the possibilities. Read further for more information. 

The USRCCNE is pleased to announce a special "focus" issue to be published at the end of March. If you are involved in anyway in the Russian IT sector, whether it be in providing outsourced IT services internationally, or providing marketing, accounting, legal, finance or other services to companies involved in this sector, please contact us about contributing articles. We hope this issue will be an wide-focused, informative resource on the subject!

As always, this newsletter is dependent on you. If you have an announcement or a news item to be included in our newsletter, or if you would like to subscribe to this free publication, please contact us.



What do you think of Russia's long New Year's holidays? We are interested in any and all opinions on this subject! Please email jwilson@usrccne.org. If your business has offices in the US and Russia, do you find that productivity in the US is hurt when the Russia office is empty? Do your Russian employees end up having to work over the holidays (and are they unhappy about this)? Do you find the Russian downtime creates a major drag on your revenues in other ways? On the other hand, do you appreciate the downtime as a welcome vacation? Perhaps it allows managers to consider new business directions for the coming year?

The best of the submissions will be published (anonymously, unless you request otherwise) next month in our next issue. Submit in Russian or English - we will translate published submissions to create an informative and bilingual compilation for our readers. Email your submissions to jwilson@usrccne.org.


News Briefs

Travel alert! New restrictions on new work and student visas to Russia have been implemented. They are valid only five business days after they are issued. Your entry date will be altered to reflect this, regardless of the date listed on your invitation and visa application. This rule has been applied at the NY Consulate for sometime, but now the DC Consulate is also enforcing the regulation. If you have recent (since Jan 1st) experience with other consulates, please let us know.  

The Long Way Home, By Gordon LanktonNew Member! USRCCNE is proud to welcome the Museum of Russian Icons to its list of members! Those of you in the Massachusetts area will want to check out their upcoming schedule of events for information on lectures, concerts, crafts, and more.

USRCCNE Old New Year Holiday Dinner a success! It was a lot of fun to sit around a table of Russian zakuska, salads, and main dishes while catching up with old friends and meeting new people.

The Long Road Home is a new, autobiographical account of an American's motorcycle journey across Russia and Central Asia in 1953. Recommended!

Bisnis Trades and Tenders has recently announced new leads for finding business opportunities in Russia and Central Asia.

Auriga Achieves CMMI Level 4, congratulations to USRCCNE member Auriga! 

Auriga Visits India - Russians to attend conferences and provide training.

Russian Student Wins Trio of Programming Competitions including TCCC, TopCoder Open, and Google Code Jam.


Upcoming Events

Philadelphia, PA, Jan 25 - Expand into Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, part of the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia’s Quarterly Briefing series, will provide expert insight on penetrating and prospering the CIS.

Palo Alto, CA, Jan 30 - Feb 1 - Fifth Annual Global Technology Symposium at Stanford brings together a group of executives, distinguished scholars, experts on international trade, and policy makers from across the U.S., former CIS countries, and Europe in an intimate forum for addressing business issues through substantive and interactive dialogue.

Boston, MA, Feb 12 - Global Economic Outlook: Implications for International Business in the Year Ahead regularly attracts companies involved in international business. The evening will feature a global economic outlook and an international resource center with more than 20 international trade associations and organizations representing over 3,000 New England companies.

London, UK, Feb 19-21 - Russian Alternative Investment Forum 2008 will once again bring together the most well-respected and dynamic industry managers and CEOs from hedge funds, private equity firms, venture funds, asset management companies, investment banks, pension funds, law firms, business consultants and investment boutiques.

Moscow, Russia, Mar 4-6 - 5th Annual Corporate IT Strategies in Russia in the CIS Conference, will bring together market leaders for an informative discussion of corporate IT strategies.

St. Petersburg, Russia, Mar 11-14 - The Petersburg Industrial Congress will discuss issues of industrial policy-making, development of productive forces as well as necessity of Russian and St. Petersburg industrial policy concept development and adoption as a system of measures and actions aimed at economic recovery and modernization will be discussed at the congress.

London, UK, Apr 20-22 - The Russian Economic Forum will once again serve as a showcase of Russian achievement in the economic sphere and will provide a platform for the Russian business community to meet Western trade and investment partners.

Moscow, Russia, Feb-March - Several conferences on several subjects will be held in Moscow during the first part of this year!


Where We've Been, Where We're Going...


Medvedev inspects grain produced in the Orenburg region of south western Russia.

The Medvedev Economy 
(Future Directions of Russia's Economy)
Russia still has a great deal of what can be considered "unused capacity" in other industries which have been quiet parts of its economy for more than a decade: timber and agriculture.

2007 Better Than 2006 for Russians
(Consumer Confidence)
One-in-four Russian adults are satisfied with what 2007 brought, according to a poll by the Yury Levada Analytical Center.

Russian Growth at Risk
(Coming Challenges to the Economy)

Russia's economy shows signs of overheating and may slow in 2008, the year Russia elects a new president, while the rouble is set to strengthen further due to high inflation, a poll of nine economists showed on Friday.

Russia by the Numbers
(Critique of Russian Reports of Current Economic Growth)
Once you assigned Red Army conscripts the same wages as American volunteers, Soviet defense spending looked a lot scarier. You might say this is what Mr. Putin is trying to do for his entire economy.

Russia's RTS May Surge to 3,000 in 2008, Banks Say
(The Future of Stocks)
Russia's RTS Index will climb 32 percent to 3,000 by the end of next year as government spending shields the economy from a global slowdown, according to UralSib Financial Corp. and Renaissance Capital.

Russia in ’08: Re-building, Re-branding and Re-rating
(Financial Markets)
We already see portfolio investors re-building their exposure to Russia, having been underweight for most of the year. We also see evidence of a broadening of investor interest as some big funds, e.g. in Asia and Mid East, are increasingly attracted to Russia because of the political stability, growth outlook and overall fiscal strength of the country.

A True Citizen Is More Than a Good Shopper
(Economy and Civil Society)

Will a supermarket shopper choosing between brands learn to estimate the worth of human rights and freedoms?

The Country of Trillion Sales
(Retail Sales)
If the trend survives, Russia’s retail will be the biggest in Europe and the fourth in the world, yielding only to the Unite States, Japan and China by 2010.

Firms Hungry for More Lawyers in Russia
(Labor, Law Firms)
Around 30 attorneys handle a typical Skadden diet of high-end corporate finance work. But reinforcements are available on short notice. The firm has Russian visas for every one of its 115 lawyers in London...

More of Articles of Interest

Obzor: Review of Russian Economic News
Russia's automotive boom, the future of financial markets, major government moves for 2008, and more.

Russian Corner: Russian Prenuptial Agreements
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, while well-established in western countries, are not as widely used in Russia. However, they have recently gained favor there among those hoping to protect their property rights during marriage and divorce.

Just for Fun: Russian Holiday Histories
Start your year off right - by planning for all the coming Russian holidays in the New Year! This article has the dates for all Russian holidays in 2008 and explanatory notes on the histories and celebrations that accompany them!


Joining the USRCCNE is Easy
Members of the USRCCNE become a part of a vibrant network of individuals and firms dedicated to furthering business opportunities between the U.S. and Russia. We work with business organizations in the US and in Russia to bring exposure to the USRCCNE, and ultimately, to our members.

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