The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world, having a land mass that stretches from Europe to the Northern Pacific Ocean. Russia’s economy is highly dependent on fossil fuels, with mineral fuels and oil products accounting for the majority of exports. Despite some shifts to service sectors, a continued reliance upon natural resources has exposed the country to volatile oil prices and market conditions. The range of other internationally competitive products is small, and their value-added is low, due to the weak productive capacity of enterprises in non-oil sectors. Although Russia’s WTO membership was finalized in 2012, it has continued to pursue further integration, mainly through regional trade agreements. Such efforts include participation in the CIS free trade agreement as well as the spearheading of the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union. Nevertheless, enhanced competitiveness remains hampered by low productivity, limited financial access, and cumbersome regulatory and business environments.
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