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Thursday, 14 July 2011

Industrial Robotics Market Opportunities in Russia

Robotic Industries Association
July 13, 2011

Spanning nine time zones and over 17 million square miles, Russia is not only the largest country in the world, geographically, but also the richest on a per capita basis of the so-called “BRIC” countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Its $1.465 trillion economy is forecast to grow at 4.5 percent this year, and industrial production and manufacturing continue to increase. (Last year industrial production grew 8.3 percent, and through the first four months of 2011 year-over-year growth has run 5.6 percent.) With economic indicators like these, what’s not to like about the Russian market?

These statistics become especially compelling, when you consider that the Russian economy is underserved by robotics with comparatively few companies with a major presence in this market. But this may soon change. Russia’s top leaders, including President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin, have acknowledged the need for economic modernization. If Russia is to compete globally and insure a level of national income largely independent of oil exports, it must deploy automation technologies such as robotics that enable the necessary cost efficiencies, productivity and product quality.

The size of the Russian economy, its performance, and the fact that it is generally underserved by automation companies suggest that it is an attractive target for robotics sales. But is it?

In a recent study entitled “Market Opportunities for Automation Companies in Russia, available free to RIA members and for sale to non-members in RIA’s online bookstore, RIA addressed this issue. For its analysis of the robotics market, the study considered not just the economy and robotic sales volumes but also the ins and outs of doing business in Russia. The picture that emerged from the study is of a country in great need of robotics technology but lacking in the basic underpinnings and protections of business that are taken for granted elsewhere. In short, while the Russian economy has made great strides in its transition from a centralized, publicly-owned economy, it still has a ways to go in creating fertile ground for businesses to flourish.
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