A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

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How to Bring Russian Start-Ups to Asian Markets?
8 September 2022
12:00—13:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
The Asian region offers tremendous opportunities for work and cooperation

A few figures about Southeast Asia, apart from the fact that it is the fourth economy in the world today. It is, among other things, one of the fastest-growing regions for IT start-ups and technology companies in general. Last year, venture capital investment in Southeast Asia was greater than China, Japan and Korea combined – that is more than USD 20 billion invested in local start-ups. This year the trend is the same: in the first five months of this year, more than 400 companies in this region have received venture capital investment – that is quite a lot both in volume and in number of companies — Alexander Svinin, Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Singapore.

Today, there are over 3,300 resident companies in Skolkovo, including 500 engaged in foreign economic activities with foreign currency revenues. If we look back to what the structure of this revenue was, say, 3–5 years ago and what countries the revenue came from, obviously, 70–80% of this revenue came from Europe and North America. Over the last five years, the situation has changed dramatically, quite the contrary... Today, the Asia Pacific region and, by the way the Middle East and Africa represent very promising markets — Yury Saprykin, Vice President for Regional and International Development, Skolkovo Foundation.

ISSUES
Russian companies are having a hard time changing their focus to Asian markets

As for the pivot to Asia: to be honest, it is not the smoothest one. Russia has traditionally been very focused on Europe... Everyone is already looking at Asia – even America is looking at Asia... Maybe we should pay attention to Asia? There is definitely something interesting there. Markets are growing, getting richer... Now, when the events of the 2022 have changed the situation completely, we see that it has not occurred to everybody. Most continue to knock on the same door, which may already be closed... Overall, this restructuring is very painful: people are generally not ready — Alexey Tuzikov, Executive Director, Head of Youth Accelerators, Sberbank.

In terms of entering foreign markets: we have been doing this for the last 10 years, it is always a difficult process. Whether there is a special operation or unfriendly countries or not, it is always a process that requires a special focus and special attention... The European market is also difficult because there are many different languages in European countries. But the European market is much richer than the Asian markets per capita. You need to understand that people will not be as well-off as in the European Union, or in the US, or even in the Arab world. But at the same time, the technological backwardness of a number of countries allows new companies, new IT technologies to find their niches — Maxim Chereshnev, Chairman, Russian Trade and Economy Development Council.

I have been saying this all year long at all platforms: let’s look at Southeast Asia as a separate target region for Russian companies. Today, Southeast Asia ... is the fourth biggest economy in the world. And it is one of the few economies in the world that grew even during the pandemic: some countries grew in double digits. And our presence there was, unfortunately, insufficient. I am glad that now we are looking at this region more and more. It is region which, on the one hand, is very interconnected. On the other hand, it is still quite different: countries are different from each other, with different cultures, different economic situations, and different business aspects, but it is possible to work with them together — Alexander Svinin, Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Singapore.

SOLUTIONS
It is important for businesses to understand where to start in a new market

You have to distinguish between very young start-ups and slightly more experienced start-ups. The more experienced start-ups are a bit more rational. They are, I would say, more flexible and more aware of the global agenda. And they, of course, can see that they are reorienting. For example, some start-ups are trying to enter new markets on their own: Latin America, India, and maybe some have moved to Singapore. It is coming from their own experience... These pioneers are doing a very important and a very difficult job of paving the path — Alexey Tuzikov, Executive Director, Head of Youth Accelerators, Sberbank.

Even at the product design stage, a team needs understand what its target markets will be... If we say that you want to make your product initially for the Southeast Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern markets, you need to be in that market and to be as close to your consumer as possible. In Singapore’s accelerators today, there are quite a few teams from Russia that make products for Southeast Asia and generally do it quite successfully — Alexander Svinin, Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Singapore.

If you already have an IT company, if you have a product – start by making sure it is ready and adapted to Asian markets. Start by choosing a business model that would allow you to try and test these markets with Asian partners at minimal cost — Maxim Chereshnev, Chairman, Russian Trade and Economy Development Council.

We need to enter new markets with an anticipated unique Russian product

The trends are similar to those we are seeing in Malaysia and Indonesia. Accordingly, it is e-commerce. We see that there is a reorientation towards Asia. There is a product which is unique, which is promising and will be in demand in our country. Currently, there is an agreement between Vladivostok and Cebu. It is being signed. I hope that it will further expand our cooperation — Daniel Hugo Lobango Santos, Representative, Committee on investment and Business Development, Philippine Russian Business Assembly Incorporated.

It is very important to understand the culture of the country you are entering – not just to know the law. But at the same time, business, by assimilating, by carrying its distinctive features can have a competitive advantage. We need to benefit from the areas in which we are traditionally strong, and which are unusual for other countries — Yulia Mihaleva, Deputy Director, Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo).

Sharing experiences with foreign colleagues is very important

It is always very interesting to see a different mentality of doing business and launching start-ups that exists in a macro-region, in a micro-region, in this or that country. Among other things, it is interesting to get feedback from our colleagues on what we would need to adjust to a different culture and legislation — Yulia Mihaleva, Deputy Director, Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo).

We can learn from each other, learn positive things. This is very much facilitated by meetings and forums like this one. The market is very interesting, and the market needs something new. So, this is the best year, the best time to enter the market with start-ups in the Philippines — Daniel Hugo Lobango Santos, Representative, Committee on investment and Business Development, Philippine Russian Business Assembly Incorporated.