NEWSWATCH: “Navigating the Complexities of Doing Business in Russia” – Harvard Business Review/ Mark McNamee

… Most firms we work with feel a sense of powerlessness to handle the changing conditions in Russia. But  … there are ways that they can manage the uncertainty. … First, companies should pinpoint exactly what elements of their operations are most vulnerable to abrupt changes in foreign policy relations. … [and] think through the types of political and macroeconomic events (e.g. further sanctions, oil price drop, protests, etc.) that could influence the economy (e.g. ruble volatility) and policy (e.g. import bans), and also affect their operations, local partners, and customers. * * * … Second, firms should strengthen their government affairs teams to stay ahead of any regulatory changes. Multinationals can even team up with competitors (both foreign and domestic) and industry associations to lobby the government on policy decisions affecting their sector and customers. Third, companies should consider localizing more of their operations. … [for] better … chances at obtaining government tenders and … more leverage … to push back against potentially harmful government regulation. With greater tax contributions, local labor, and sourcing from local suppliers, firms can more easily show how government interference negatively affects Russian businesses and workers. …

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