9 Jan 2020 13:35

Russian-German Foreign Trade Chamber reports decline in number of German companies doing business in Russia

MOSCOW. Jan 9 (Interfax) - The number of German companies doing business in Russia has declined year by year, the Russian-German Foreign Trade Chamber said in a statement seen by Interfax on Thursday.

"A total of 4,274 German companies are operating in the country now, which is 8% fewer than in the previous year," the statement, which was based on information from the Federal Tax Service, said.

"Sanctions, protectionism, and weakening demand in Russia constitute serious challenges to German companies operating on the Russian market. America should stop winding the spiral of sanctions to the detriment of German and European companies, an example of which are the recent sanctions imposed by Washington on Nord Stream 2," the statement quoted Chamber Chairman Mattias Schepp as saying.

Almost 6,200 German companies were registered in Russia before the Ukraine crisis; their number has been constantly diminishing since then, Schepp said. The 4,274 German companies registered as of late 2019 include 3,832 legal entities and 442 branches and representative offices.

According to the Chamber, Russian-German trade dipped 12% year by year from January to October 2019. "Interstate trade amounted to $43.8 billion this year [2019] versus $49.8 billion in 2018," the Chamber said.

"There are some positive trends, as well. German companies continue making hefty investments in Russia. The number of companies is shrinking, yet the intensity of their operations is growing. Net direct investments of German businesses in Russia reached 3.3 billion euros in 2018," Schepp said.

The Russian-German Foreign Trade Chamber is the biggest foreign business association in Russia, which has 907 member companies. The number of its members grew 4% year by year in 2019.