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Swiss companies are already benefiting from being part of the transformation in the Russian economy. For them, import substitution is a competitive edge rather than a handicap as Switzerland’s economy has been unaffected by Russia’s counter sanctions. This means vibrant expansion into Russia being cascaded from the Swiss-based global majors down to small and medium-sized businesses.
Among Russia’s European partners, Switzerland is the one that stands out. A non-EU member state that nevertheless did join the sanctions against Russia, it was not targeted by the counter-sanctions introduced by Russia in response.
The 2016 trade between Russia and Switzerland shows that the relations between the two countries are progressing nicely.
Russia’s import substitution policy is hardly a cause for concern for Swiss exporters:
After localization, Swiss companies intend to market their products worldwide rather than focus on the Russian marketplace only. Other businesses seem ready to follow the lead:
There are also Swiss SMEs that are considering localization projects in Russia.
The company that has been countering the Swiss trend for greater focus on Russia is Glencore. In 2015–2016, it divested 40% of its agricultural business despite enjoying the position of the second largest exporter of Russian grains in 2014 and 2015. However, the move was due to Glencore’s business issues rather than the situation in Russia.