Understanding the constraints on trading activity is essential for companies looking to expand into new markets.
New market entry and subsequent effective foreign trade are major challenges in themselves. But they become still more challenging when companies face a lack of favorable conditions for foreign trade in the host country. Russia ranks 157nd out of 185 countries on the ease of “trading across borders”, according to the World Bank's 2014 Doing Business report, which looks at domestic small and mediumsize companies and measures the regulations applying to them through their life cycle.
Of course, no single rating can take into account all the individual characteristics of a particular country. The results of the Doing Business survey are thus open to question. However, in Russia’s case, at least one aspect is hard to dispute: in the opinion of the business community, the conditions in Russia for foreign economic activity by SMEs are still far from being favorable. Ineffective and unliberal regulation, numerous administrative barriers, frequent corruption, an underdeveloped institutional environment – all of these require business and expert communities to take the initiative in creating favorable conditions for foreign trade, protection of business interests, and finally, for mutual support and development.
Recognizing the critical importance of foreign trade in the sustainable development of the Russian economy, understanding the problems importers and exporters are facing, and taking into account the demand within the business community to expand affordable tools available to SMEs for foreign trade,