Country Series: The Russian Federation

The Pakistan Business Council, as part of its ongoing research initiatives, aims to conduct a series of studies on key economies which indicate opportunities for investment. This short report provides a brief snapshot of the Russian economy concentrating on various aspects of trade and investment.

Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Russia was worth $381 Billion in 2015, from $454 Million in 2014. It consisted mainly of Russia’s imports from Pakistan at $285 Million. The bulk of Russia’s imports from Pakistan consisted of Edible Fruits, Articles of Apparel (HS 62 and 61), Edible vegetables and Cereals.

Russia’s exports to Pakistan of $95.7 Million consisted of Paper and Paperboard, Edible vegetables, Iron and steel, Inorganic Chemicals and Machinery.

Total potential trade between Pakistan and Russia, based on 2014’s trade patterns was estimated at $71.8 Billion (including petroleum products). For Pakistan, a potential of around $24.5 Billion lies in exporting the following commodity categories to Russia: Other Petroleum Oils and Preparations; Womens/girls trousers and shorts, of cotton, not knitted; Mens/boys trousers and shorts, of cotton, not knitted; Instruments and appliances used in medical or veterinary sciences, nes; and Portland cement nes.

Simultaneously potential commodities that can be imported by Pakistan from Russia consist of Mineral fuels, Iron and Steel, Residues and waste from the food industries, Fertilizers and Pharmaceutical products.

Russia’s trade surplus has decreased by $55 Billion from 2014 to 2015. This is primarily due to sanctions imposed on Russia by the US, Canada, Australia and the EU amongst others. In 2012 President Putin announced a turning point in Russia’s foreign policy, calling it the ‘Pivot to Asia’. The Russian government therefore seeks to increase Russia’s integration with Asia, achieving mutually advantageous economic ties and raising Russia’s profile in Asian regional organizations.