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Past Issue
November 2008

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


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

Let's call the current situation... interesting. Oil has plummeted from over $100 per barrel to less than 70, the minimum that Russia's Ministry of Finance says it needs to keep the budget in the black. Russia's stock market, when it operates at all, continues to drop. The Russian Central Bank has spent billions trying to stabilize the ruble - which is now trading at 29 to the dollar and forecast to fall further. Perhaps most concerning is the fact that stories have been circulated of Russians emptying their bank accounts and buying dollars to keep at home - just in case 2008 joins the list that 1993 and 1998 currently occupy.

There are many that are forecasting nothing short of Armageddon. However, most businessmen seem confident that government measures to hold off a major crisis are working. Many even argue that the crisis will, overall, be good for Russia. It will force industries that have long been staff-heavy and inefficient to become more competitive. In the process, this will ease the current stress on Russia's demographically-challenged labor markets. The crisis will also create market consolidations that will help build better businesses in Russia, the optimists conclude.

What will really happen next is any one's guess and we will only say one thing for certain: those of us who work with Russia and in Russia don't run from challenges. We thrive on them and see opportunity in everything - even economic downturns.

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.


USRCCNE & Members News and Events


Doing Business in Emerging Global Markets
Nov 6 & 18, Westwood, MA - This is event is co-sponsered by USRCCNE! Learn from seasoned international business executives about how to succeed in new overseas markets.

Daniel Satinsky Publishes Opinion Paper on South Ossetia
While perhaps a bit "late in the game" this paper is extensive and informative. Those with stakes in the developing relationship between Russia and the US will find this a valuable read.

Auriga Gets SPICEed
SPICE (Process Improvement Capability Determination, also known as ISO 15504, is a maturity-based model used for process improvement, and capability determination.

Other News and Events

New York, NY, Nov 13 - "Working with Russia's Customs Service" will not only offer a review of the latest Russian customs requirements but also more effective approaches for exporting to Russia, including best practices in regional distribution networks and the most effective options for inventory and supply chain management within Russia. 

Washington, DC, Nov 20 - "Doing Business with Russia Conference" will include presentations on energy and natural resources, high technology, mergers and acquisitions, economic development and public support for investments.will take a broad look at changing politics and economics in Russia and the US and how they might effectively coverage.

Moscow, Russia, Dec 8-12 - Zdravookhraneniye' (Healthcare) 2008, the 18th International Exhibition for Health Care, Medical Engineering and Pharmaceuticals, will present the opportunities that Russia's growing medical services market provides.


Survival Guide to Russian Business

Paul Backer, an international attorney, has been publishing a "survival guide" as a series on Johnson's Russia List. Here, we've gathered the first seven installments together: 

Law, Moscow, Medvedev, and Me
I firmly believe that folks who dismiss the prevailing legal and business environment in Russia/CIS as ‘dysfunctional’ miss the history, background and the point.

Resisting Corporate Raiders
Raiding is a business model relying on the perceived advantage of its implementers, the ability to cost effectively seize and most importantly, monetize inadequately protected assets. Success of raiding largely relies on the target’s failure to implement and maintain a survival plan.

Personal and Business Security in Russia
The response of many foreign investors to security issues in Russia/CIS is reliably entertaining.

Survival Factors for Foreign Investors in Russia and CIS
Project success is hard to predict. One of the more successful investments, I know in Russia, returns nearly 20% annually for years, free of local taxes, and was largely accidental. It’s much easier to identify a project saddled with failure factors.

Business, Law, Regulations and Compliance
Does Russia/CIS have Rule of Law? Yes, with a vengeance, and not in the way of U.S. or EU Rule of Law. Strong Rule of Law is not necessarily positive from the business perspective.

Choosing Legal Counsel Abroad 
Choosing local legal counsel is a decision faced by every entrepreneur active in or entering a foreign jurisdiction. Your local lawyer is a much more important life partner than your local girlfriend.

Types of Lawyers and Law Firms
Many entrepreneurs venturing abroad are surprised that they can’t find or hire a local attorney able to implement their objectives or wind up paying top dollar for ineffective counsel.



The Growth Report
The Commission on Growth and Development released its final report, The Growth Report: Strategies for Sustained Growth and Inclusive Development, which looks at how developing countries can achieve fast sustained and equitable growth.

Russia and the Financial Crisis
This issue of the Russian Analytical Digest examines the impact of the global financial crisis in Russia. It considers Russian economic growth over the past 10 years, followed by a discussion of the current state of the economy with a focus on the industrial sectors affected by the crisis: commodity markets, construction and retailing.

IT Outsourcing Trends
In 2008, the world IT market is expected to grow by 9.5% reaching 819 bln USD by the end of year, and surpassing the mark of 1 trln USD by 2011, reports Gartner.

Russia Information Technology Report Q3 2008
The positive trends driving the IT market are likely to remain constant and give Russia the potential of being one of the fastest growing IT markets in the world.

Russian Corner: A Larger Social Tax On Businesses
The current financial crisis combined with the necessity of increasing the standard of living for pensioners has forced the government to make an unpopular decision.

Just for Fun: Kyrgyzstan, A Love Story
Genna Gunow didn't travel to Kyrgyzstan only to study its language, meet its people, and witness its culture, but also to get married.

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.

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