LONDON, February 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is widely expected to return to the presidency
Concerns remain about corruption, regulation and state of infrastructure
Nine out of ten European business leaders credit Russia for an improved investment climate, despite acknowledged difficulties in doing business there, according to a new in-depth study.
Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister, is widely expected to return to the presidency, which he held for the eight years up to 2008, after the March 4 elections.
His return to the Kremlin will not affect the positive progress Russia has made, the survey found, with 70% saying stability will continue.
Out of 300 CEOs and senior executives from the UK, France and Germany, 52% believe Russia has improved as a place to do business since 2002 compared to 12% who feel it has worsened.
Of the 300, 87% said the investment climate has improved, although they also said more reform and improvements are needed, citing corruption, regulation and poor infrastructure as the three key concerns.
The business leaders, all of whom have direct business experience in Russia or with a Russian company, overall gave Russia a mark of four out of ten for ease of doing business.
However, all were clear on the importance of Russia to the EU - saying its untapped markets and increasing purchasing power was very attractive while its energy and other natural resources were very important.
Nine out of ten said the EU should seek closer bilateral ties due to its reliance on Russian energy and a similar proportion cited fear of losing out economically to rivals in the East as a reason for closer ties.
Overall, German business leaders rated Russia's importance to the EU the highest (7.2 out of ten), followed by the UK (6.8) and then France (6.3).
The full content of the survey is available at http://russia-insights.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Opinions-and-Attitudes-towards-Russia-Putin-and-the-Russian-Economy.pdf
The survey was commissioned by Russia Insights, a think tank, to gauge the mood of foreign investors towards Russia amid the country's presidential elections.
The survey follows Russia's formal entry in the WTO in December 2012, which experts believe will spur further economic reforms and international trade, particularly with the EU.
Notes to editors
300 European business leaders were questioned between 23rd January and 14th February 2012 by Brand Democracy, a London-based research consultancy. http://www.branddemocracy.co.uk
- Almost half of respondents were CEOs or FDs
- The business leaders represent companies with between 100 and 5000+ employees, with the majority between 250 and 4999
- Companies from manufacturing, business and professional services and technology sectors made up two thirds of those asked.
Russia Insights is a not-for-profit and non-partisan organisation. It has an English language news portal providing comment and insight into Russian current affairs and politics. http://russia-insights.com/
SOURCE Russia Insights www.russia-insights.com