The USRCCNE Monthly Newsletter
For those with interests bridging the US and Russia...
From Josh Wilson, General Editor, USRCCNE
This holiday season is one of uncertainty for many businesses around the world. In the Russia, the crisis is now affecting many economic spheres - although so far, major drops in consumer spending have not been reported. Some major recent events that have caught our attention: office space in Moscow is reported to have dropped in value by as much as 20-25%; some major consolidations are already taking place in sectors as diverse as IT and banking; the ruble is continuing its fall, with the government having stepped back from saying that any major fall would be prevented to saying only that support for the currency will be maintained and devaluation allowed.
Of course, how far things will go will only be known after the fact, and whether all this represents a threat or an opportunity depends on each business's situation and outlook. On the brighter note, the holiday season is coming despite any crises and USRCCNE is helping to promote a performance on the Ballets Russes for the Russian Old New Year and we are continuing to work vigorously to promote economic and cultural interaction between the US and Russia and the activities of our like-minded member companies and organizations. More on the good and bad news below - as well as in our next newsletter, due out near the end of January.
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.
Building Innovation Ecosystems
On November 24th, 2008, USRCCNE participated in a conference focusing on the business of high technology in Russia and America. The conference was hosted by USRCCNE member The U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF). Below are the results and presentations from that conference.
USRCCNE Signs Memorandum (PDF - 440 KB)
USRCCNE, the RVCA and the USCRDF have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly assist companies and investment communities working between the US and Russia.
Venture Capital in Russia (PPT - 3 MB)
Ivan Rodionov of the Venture Innovation Fund spoke on the history and current status of the venture capital industry in Russia.
Boston BioCom (PDF - 510 KB)
Boston BioCom spoke about their company and the commercial life science industries in Russia and America.
Explosives Detection (PDF - 212 KB)
RATEC, Inc. has developed systems for detecting explosives and other dangerous materials on the basis of neutron analysis.
Hands Free Computers (PDF - 504 KB)
Gravitonus, Inc. has developed a hands-free system for computer usage that they say has significant commercial and military applications.
USRCCNE & Members News and Events
Save the Date: Russian New Year
USRCCNE is jointly promoting the Ballets Russes performance on January 13th, 2009. Save the date! More info to follow.
Marchmont News Services
Marchmont Capital Partners, a USRCCNE member, offers a great array of economic news focusing on the diverse markets of south western Russia. Check out their site!
Russian Culture in Massachusetts
The Museum of Russian Icons, a USRCCNE member, is pleased to host a ground-breaking international cultural exchange between the US and Russia. TWO MUSEUMS/ONE CULTURE is an exhibition of significant Russian icons from the State Tretyakov Gallery and comprises some of the most important Russian icons ever to come to the USA from a Russian national museum.
Medical Care in Russia
Auriga attends the MEDICA conference in Russia as Russia prepares to spend a half billion dollars on updating its system of patient records (which are still largely kept in handwritten books).
Dewey & LeBoeuf Advises on Russian Automotive Joint Venture
Dewey & LeBoeuf has advised Gestamp Automocion of Spain, one of the world's leading suppliers of metal components and structural systems for the automotive industry, on a unique joint venture in Russia with OAO Severstal.
Auriga Attends BITKOM in Germany
The report, entitled “Gaining Maximum Value from High-Tech Outsourcing Partnership” summarized the previous cooperation experience between Auriga and the IBM Development Laboratory in Boeblingen, Germany.
Articles & Resources
Five Myths About Gazprom (PDF - 178 KB)
European energy security and reliance on Russian gas supplies has been a hotly discussed topic over the past several years. Unfortunately, Gazprom has not engaged very vigorously in the substance of this debate and as a result a set of conclusions, or conventional wisdom, has arisen that questions the behavior and motives of Gazprom. At a November 10-11 conference in Istanbul, Sergei Komlev, Head of Contract Structuring and Price Formation Directorate at Gazpromexport, debunked this conventional wisdom in a presentation entitled, "Five Myths about Gazprom." He was assisted in preparing this presentation by USRCCNE member, Daniel Satinsky, President of B.E.A. Associates, Inc.
Global Trends 2025
This latest report from the NIC and the CIA examines what changes the next decades may bring to global politics and economics. They predict a much stronger position for Russia on the global stage as well as a decline of the US and general strengthening of the Middle East and other emerging economies.
Russia: Crisis? What Crisis?
State-controlled TV in Russia is playing down the global financial mess even as its impact starts to spread through the economy.
Marketing During A Recession
The looming crisis in Russia will cause many marketers to reevaluate budgets, strategies, and relationships. During the last financial crisis in Russia a decade ago, some companies took advantage of falling media costs and slow-to-react competition to capture market share.
Russia's Foreign Workers
The financial crisis is likely to draw down the price of investing in Russia, and create additional turbulence, difficulties, and opportunities. In short, it will not change the reasons and motivations that draw foreigners to Russia.
Fantasy Islands in St. Petersburg
A rendering of what St. Petersburg might
soon look like. Click for full picture.
Developing land in Russia is such an entangled process that at times it seems to developers that pouring out new land would be easier than handling the thousands of hectares of empty land.
Obzor: Russian Economic News in Review
This time our monthly roundup of economy-related news stories is hosted on the site of USRCCNE member The School of Russian and Asian Studies.
Russian Corner: Thin Capitalization in Russia
In the case that debt financing comes from a company's owners, the interest payments can be seen as essentially veiled dividend payments. Russia has introduced special rules to limit this practice, and as such has adopted two international concepts within its tax legislation with some Russian peculiarities.
Just for Fun: A Tour Guide in the Caucasus
Devin Connolly turned a love of adventure and knowledge of Russian into a career. Just back from leading a group of tourists through Georgia, she shares thoughts on her education, her travels, and maintaining a tourist industry in the aftermath of a war.