East European Focus
The Retail & Consumer Industry in Russia and CIS
by Nick Page, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (UK)
In recent months, the impact of the financial crisis on countries around the world has become clearer. Some political leaders and economists are reporting evidence of the so-called green shoots of recovery. At first glance Russia does not appear to be amongst the leaders in the recovery, having experienced a substantial fall in economic activity year-on-year. However, the last quarter gives reason for measured optimism with improvements reported in industrial output, and stabilisation of unemployment. The more optimistic are now forecasting that Russia will be back on a growth path at the end of 2009 or by the first quarter of 2010.
In the last ten years, Moscow has developed from a retail nightmare to a retail paradise; smart trendy boutiques now occupy premises that in the Soviet days were bakeries and bookshops.
The ring road encircling the city of Moscow is now home to many shopping centres (or malls) where only ten years ago the vast Russian wilderness appeared to begin. Our focus on the retail sector has contributions from experts in our London and Moscow offices.
As those familiar with investing in Russia will know, Cyprus is a near mandatory stopover for investment passing in and out of the country. But many people know surprisingly little about Cyprus and its economy; we have an article that provides readers with some background on this strategically situated island in the Mediterranean.
We are pleased to participate in TMI’s focus on Eastern Europe, with this short overview on investment outlook in Russia and the CIS region.
Nick Page is a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (UK). He is the Head of Financial Services in the Transaction Services business, and an expert on Russia and CIS region. He worked in Russia for a number of years in the mid-1990s and has advised international clients on investing in the Russia and CIS region ever since. He is also the editor of the Russia & CIS Express, a quarterly magazine by PricewaterhouseCoopers UK for companies interested in doing business in the region.