US firms’ direct investments in Russia 9 times higher than official figures indicate – survey

American companies operating in Russia have made direct investments amounting to a total of $96.05 billion, according to the sixth annual joint survey of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia (AmCham) and Ernst & Young.

The survey, which focused on the prospects for direct investment and bilateral trade between Russia and the US, was based on data from 160 companies. According to its findings, US firms invested more than $2.2 billion in the Russian economy in 2020 alone, and plan to invest around $1.8 billion more in 2021. Over a half of this money will go to Russia’s energy and natural resources industry.

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Despite the decline in activity in 2020 … 84% of companies reported that they are planning to launch new projects in Russia in the near future. This is a record value during the time of our study. For 73.5% of [US] companies surveyed, Russia is a strategic market,” Ernst & Young partner Sophia Azizian said at the 21st AmCham Investment Conference on Thursday.

According to the survey, 78% of companies feel the negative impact of US sanctions on their Russian business, compared to 80% last year.

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The restrictions put American business at a disadvantage compared to companies from other countries and create reputational risk,” the survey says.

Also, as per AmCham findings, “official statistics underestimate the actual level of economic relations between Russia and the US,” with bilateral investment figures obtained by researchers as part of the survey being at least nine times higher than the official figures.

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