The number of German companies operating in Russia has fallen by 7 per cent year-on-year amid heightened political tensions and the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
There were 3,971 German companies or representatives of companies using German capital registered with Russia’s tax authorities at the end of 2020 – 303 fewer than in 2019 – according to the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce Abroad (AHK).
In addition to the pandemic, Berlin and Moscow’s strained political relationship soured the mood among businesses. The EU and Russia have imposed numerous sanctions and counter-sanctions on each other.
According to AHK data, the German economy continues to invest heavily in the world’s largest country in terms of area.
However, the trend of German companies leaving Russia continues. Since 2011, the number of companies has dropped by more than a third, or by more than 2,000, it said.
“In addition to the pandemic, sanctions, global trade conflicts and protectionism are among major challenges for large German corporations and medium-sized and family-run companies in Russia,” AHK President Rainer Seele said.
The AHK is the largest foreign business association in Russia.
“The quantity of companies is declining, but the quality of German involvement in Russia remains high,” Seele said. After a weak second quarter in Russia, German firms invested nearly 700 million euros (860 million dollars) there in the third quarter, he said.