On October 3rd, 2018 the Association of Studies, Research and Internationalization in Eurasia and Africa (ASRIE) in partnership with Centro Studi Eurasia – Mediterraneo (CeSEM) and the Cultural Association Russia Emilia Romagna organised in Bologna the conference “Italy – Russia: economic and strategic communication” attended by experts, businessmen and lawyers.
The event hosted the speeches of the Professor Evgeny N. Pashentsev, leading research at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and director of the International Center for Socio-Political Studies and Consulting (ICSPSC) and Antonio de Capoa, CEO of the law and consulting firm Studio de Capoa, with the aim at analysing investment and business opportunities in Russia for the Italian entrepreneurs and presenting the importance of strategic communication to penetrate in the Russian market.
The presentations of the two speakers highlighted the following important elements:
- Although Moscow has always been an economic hub which has attracted foreign direct investments and international economic interests, new investors should consider the vast opportunities offered by the Russian provinces and those areas far from the administrative centre. Indeed, several regions have organised their administrative areas to host foreign investors providing them infrastructures and profitable fiscal laws.
- The economic sanctions to Russia have affected the domestic market and the Italian – Russian commercial exchange. Even though many Italian companies have suffered from the sanctions after the Ukrainian crisis, several business activities financed by Italian entrepreneurs are still active and have demonstrated their complete vitality because these companies have an economic and communication strategy.
- The Russian – Italian trade is mainly based on raw materials and agricultural products. Italian companies should elaborate a strategy which interests different sectors overcoming the leadership of raw materials and oil & natural gas production and exportations.
- The Russian Federation is nowadays not the Soviet Union, and the domestic market has faced different development stages. It is essential to understand that the Russian Federation is a profitable market for Italian companies because it is in the centre of Eurasia, has more than 145 million customers and represents an alternative to the Chinese and the American markets.
- Russia started becoming an independent player in the bank and financial markets trying to create an alternative SWIFT code and solutions to overcome the current situation characterised by a few actors who monopolise the market. This alternative solution is important not only for the Russian Federation but also for the entire European Union.
- According to the World Bank forecasts, the future of the economy will be robotics and new technologies, two target sectors for the Russian government where foreign businessmen might invest. Putin himself said that robotics is the future of the world and the country should be ready to face the challenges (and possible problems) related to this sector such as the substitution of employees and specialists by algorithm and machine and the use of criminal organisation and terrorist groups of new technologies. Italian companies with expertise in cybersecurity, IT, and software programming have huge possibilities to cooperate with Russian partners in these fields.