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GDP per Capita: $1,891 GDP (USD Billions): 276.60 GDP Growth Rate: 7.5% Inflation (CPI): 22.4% Currency: 1 Ruble (RUR)=100 Kopeks USD Conversion Rate: 1USD=28.59RUR Population (Millions): 146.3 Labor Force (Millions): 67 Unemployment: 11.5% Language: Russian, other Major Industries: mining and extractive industries; machine building,shipbuilding; road and rail transportation equipment; communications equipment; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment; electric power generating and transmitting equipment; medical Political System: Presidential democracy Economic System: Free market with strong government Literacy Rate: 99% President and Prime Minister: Vladimir Putin Capital: Moscow Facts: Vladimir Putin recently elected President


Seven years after the collapse of the USSR, Russia is still struggling to establish a modern market economy and achieve strong economic growth. Russian GDP has contracted an estimated 43% since 1991, including a 5% drop in 1998, despite the country's wealth of natural resources, its well-educated population, and its diverse. although increasingly dilapidated. industrial base. By the end of 1997, Russia had achieved some progress. Inflation had been brought under control, the ruble was stabilized, and an ambitious privatization program had transferred thousands of enterprises to private ownership. Some important market-oriented laws were also passed, including a commercial code governing business relations and an arbitration court for resolving economic disputes. But in 1998, the Asian financial crisis swept through the country, contributing to a sharp decline in russia's earnings from oil exports and resulting in an exodus of foreign investors. Matters came to a head in August 1998 when the government allowed the ruble to fall precipitously and stopped payment on $40 billion in ruble bonds. Ongoing problems include an undeveloped legal and financial system, poor progress on restructuring the military-industrial complex, and persistently large budget deficits, largely reflecting the inability of successive governments to collect sufficient taxes. Russia's transition to a market economy has also been slowed by the growing prevalence of payment arrears and barter and by widespread corruption. The severity of Russia's economic problems is dramatized by the large annual decline in population, estimated by some observers at 800,000 people, caused by environmental hazards, the decline in health care, and the unwillingness of people to have children. SOURCE: CIA FACTBOOK


Russia poses the greatest opportunity and the greatest difficulties. In many ways Kasna has been established to overcome these difficulties, but they are real. Business can be conducted with Russian companies successfully today, but with care. Companies fall into two categories - the surviving traditional (which will change inevitably), and the new wave businesses (which take a local view). Business may be conducted directly with Russian companies or with intermediary or spin-off businesses (take care) - all these can be found and communicated with via Kasna. With the addition of direct and reliable shipping channels and secure and conditional payment, products can be bought from Russia. There are many Russian industrial sectors, which represent remarkable value, and Kasna encourages you to reach out for those - from aerospace fabrication to games software. The reverse direction is attractive too but the same obstacles need to be removed - secure and conditional payment, and direct and overhead-free shipment. Kasna is addressing this at present, in the meantime - select sound regions (eg St Petersburg, Nizny Novogorod) and look around... There are windfall and long term deals to be made.