Russian Market - Introduction

Russia is the world's largest country by area, covering 17 million square kilometers, stretching 11 time zones and counting 146 million inhabitants. It is the most populous nation in Europe and the 9th-most populous nation in the world. 

The Russian market offers exporting Swiss companies many opportunities. In 2018, the Russian Federation ranked 25th among Switzerlands most important trading partners by country, importing goods worth 2.5 billion Swiss francs.

Despite the challenging economic environment, Russia has remained a strategically important market for the vast majority of Swiss companies operating there in recent years. Although a significant proportion of companies were concerned about maintaining the profitability of their business, some large and medium-sized companies were striving to achieve a higher level of profitability by localizing (e.g. production sites in regions, increasingly local suppliers) and are aiming to expand their market share even in times of crisis. In view of the development of export figures in the past and current year, it is to be expected that the bottom has been passed and the Russian market is about to become more attractive for Swiss companies again. The Russian budget-planning shows that, within the framework of the “national projects” in the coming years, investments are planned for “raising the standard of living”, the “improvement of infrastructure", the “technology and digitization development” and other projects. All these areas offer Swiss companies from chemical, pharmaceutical and medical technology industries, mechanical engineering and automation sector and the construction industry opportunities for increased economic activity and investment in Russia (source: 2019 Report by Embassy of Switzerland in Moscow, Russia). 

Political Efforts for the Environment in Russia

The Russian government has commissioned these national projects in 2018, one of them being "Ecology". This national project, aiming to tackle Russia's biggest environmental issues by 2024, has an investment volume of around 50 billion euros and is focussing on increasing the recycling rate, reforestation and reduction of air pollution (cutting emissions) (source: Bank of Finland).

Waste Management

As there is less and less space in the country's many landfills and with the complete lack of waste recycling plants, waste sorting complexes, waste incineration plants and cutting-edge technologies and mechanisms for recycling, the Russian government is especially pushing for improvements in the waste management sector. The responsibility to take care of the destruction of the landfill, the recultivation of the territory and the formation of an integrated waste management system has been given to the municipalities and regional operators (source: Waste Management in Russia by Netherlands Enterprise Agency).

Water Management

Further, Russia has massive infrastructural needs in the water sector. Within the framework of the national project "Ecology", the federal project "Clean Water" has been launched. An active implementation of the project began in 2019. It includes the modernization and construction of water intakes, as well as water treatment plants. By the end of 2024, 90.8% of Russia's residents should be provided with high-quality drinking water from centralized water supply systems (today this figure is 87.5%). By the end of 2024, the level of water supply for the urban population is planned to reach 99% (today it is 94.5%) (source: SUE Vodokanal of St. Petersburg).


Related links

Swiss Business Hub Russia: 

Export Promotion Services

S-GE: Russia Country Information  

World Bank: World Bank Russia 

Swiss Federal Customs Administration: 


Netherlands Enterprise Agency (governmental agency):


Trade Fairs in Moscow, Russia



Swissenviro: Exhibitions