According to the Federal ministry for economic affairs and technology (BMWi) an important share of the 50 billion Euro record trade volume between Germany and Russia in 2006 is to be attributed to the approximately 4.500 German small and medium-sized entities operating in Russia. This underlines the importance of SMEs as a driving economic force.
Whereas imports from Russia are still dominated by raw materials, 25% of exports to Russia consist of machinery, 14% of automobiles and spare parts thereof as well as chemical products which account for about 13% of exports (figures from the first half of 2006). These product categories are traditionally a strong domain of SMEs so that Russia represents a very attractive market for small and medium-sized entities.
This opinion was also shared by the state secretary Mr. Hartmut Schauerte on the occasion of a conference for SMEs in Moscow one week ago. There he praised the reform efforts by the Russian government, but also warned that formalism and bureaucracy are things which had always made it difficult for SMEs to enter a market.