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Investment opportunities for Italians in Russia

"Italian companies have always invested in Russia at difficult times, gaining important shares of its market", Cesare Maria Ragaglini, Italian ambassador in the Russian Federation, said a few months ago. These words make it clear that there is a close relationship between the two countries. Despite the current embargo, there are good chances for Italian companies but, from what we can deduce at Macfrut they are not really convinced.

Evgeniya Kravchenko during the convention at Macfrut.

"On the contrary, Italians can do and gain a lot in Russia'' - Evgeniya Kravchenko, marketing and food promotion expert, affirmed, during a convention at the Macfrut event in Rimini - ''The fruit and vegetable sector is developing more than other fields". Krasnodar is the region where fruit and vegetable growing is most developed. 

After a period of economic growth, Russia has slipped into a recession.
Inflation is high (13% in 2015), the Ruble has fallen 45% against the euro, (89 Russian Ruble = 1 Euro in 2016). Importation has decreased by roughly 40%. The Ministry of the Economy predicts a recovery in 2017. However, the agri-food industry is growing (2%). It is no surprise because also in Italy, during the economic crisis, it was this sector that kept things going.

Russia has decided to start again by limiting importation and becoming more self-sufficient, but letting foreign countries make investments. 
In 2014, the Russian government approved more than 500 projects of foreign investments. "In 2015 - Evgeniya said – importation of fruit and vegetable products decreased by 33%". Yet, Russia needs 20.5 million tons of vegetables per year.

Gianluca Bagnara, economic analyst, has affirmed several times that the embargo is a form of self-protection and it is going to last a long time. 
Russia is a great power, but it can be easily defeated in a few days because it is not self-sufficient yet as far as food is concerned since it produces only 15% of the total amount. Putin's goal, on the other hand, is to reach 50% in a few years. 

Evgeniya concluded "Russia's priorities are financing the construction of greenhouses to produce vegetables for a longer period and developing infrastructures and logistics. The government will pay 20% of the expenses to build the greenhouses, from 3 to 30 hectares. Material can be imported up to 70%". 
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