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Moscow, Russia

In the span of 17 years, Russia has gone from a state-controlled command economy to a stable, growing and rapidly maturing market-oriented economy. Today, it is one of the world’s largest economies with a GDP of $1.4 trillion. In 2009, however because of the financial crisis Russia’s GDP decreased by 7.9%. During the 6 previous years, due to buoyant household demand and business investment driving output in the construction, manufacturing and services sectors, the country enjoyed strong economic growth (ranging from 5.6 to 8.1 percent annually). During this growth period per capita incomes were rising and its middle class has become a more significant force in the national economy. Russia's future accession to the WTO, which Russia has declared it is now seeking as a single customs bloc with Belarus and Kazakhstan, should provide better access for Canadian products and services as well as improved rules-based and transparent business climate. European and East Asian countries are increasingly viewing Russia as a key economic partner. Russia's economy is expected to rebound with the global economic recovery, in line with outlooks in commodity prices. Russia's newly strong private sector will be a contributing factor, with the government playing an assertive role through regulation and public corporations. Moving forward, the country will need foreign capital, partnerships and technology to reach its full potential. As Russia proceeds with the modernization of its industrial and agricultural infrastructure, opportunities will abound in transportation, infrastructure development and industrial equipment. There are also excellent export and investment opportunities in agriculture and agri-food, mining, forestry, housing, and information and communication technologies. Canadian companies wishing to capitalize on the opportunities Russia presents face a number of challenges, however, including competition from other foreign companies and differences in cultural and business practices.

Commercial Relations

  • Canada’s merchandise trade with Russia reached $2.5 billion in 2009. Since 2002, bilateral trade has more than quadrupled.
  • Canadian exports to Russia delined by 40.7 percent to $888 million in 2009. Canadian merchandise exports have increased by 56.9 percent in the past five years.
  • Canadian services exports to Russia were $281 million in 2007, while services imports were $487 million the same year.
  • Canadian direct investment in Russia reached $725 million, while direct investment in Canada from Russia reached $358 million.

Market Opportunities

The Government of Canada has identified Russia as a GCS priority market—based on extensive consultation with government, academic and Canadian business and industry representatives—and has developed a comprehensive Market Plan that identifies the following key sectors as offering clear market opportunities well suited to Canadian capabilities and interests in Russia:

  • Oil and Gas Equipment and Services: Russia is one of the world’s leading producers of oil and gas. Canadian oil services companies are experiencing substantial growth in Russia and there is considerable potential for further growth in the development of offshore deposits off Russia’s Arctic Shelf and in the Sakhalin region.
  • Metals, Minerals and Related Equipment and Services: Canadian equipment and services providers have established an excellent reputation for providing reliable, leading-edge technologies and equipment. With a number of major Russian mining companies looking to expand and diversify, opportunities are arising in mining services (e.g. surveying and extraction plans for mineral deposits).
  • Agriculture, Food and Beverages: Increasing per capita consumption of fish and seafood products and growing demand for greater variety and quality of food products including meat represent excellent opportunities for Canadian suppliers. A priority is to secure predictable market access for Canadian suppliers.
  • Agriculture, Technology and Equipment: Russian demand for agricultural machinery and equipment is expected to increase sharply over the next few years. While Canadian machinery is frequently more expensive than Russian alternatives, Canada’s strong reputation for high quality and reliability, comfort, labour-saving features and high productivity bodes well.
  • Building Products and Construction: With demand for new housing expected to resume its growth with the economic recovery and to outstrip supply and growing interest in high-quality, less expensive wood frame alternatives to traditional brick and cement, growth opportunities for Canadian suppliers are tremendous. Opportunities are also emerging in large-scale construction projects related to the APEC 2012 Summit in Vladivostok and the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

Canada-Russia Commercial Relations, 2005-2009

Text Alternative: Canada-Russia Commercial Relations
Canada-Russia Commercial Relations, 2005-2009
 Canadian Merchandise ExportsCanadian Merchandise ImportsCanadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA)Foreign Direct Investment in Canada (FDI)

Government Leadership and Support

Recognizing the increased predictability, transparency and stability that WTO membership would bring to Russia, the Government of Canada has been supportive of its efforts to become a member and will continue to work closely with Russia and other members of the WTO to secure Russia’s accession. As Russia offers huge and largely untapped scientific expertise and considerable procurement, investment and partnering opportunities, Canada is seeking to upgrade its Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with the country to better reflect current investment conditions and lend assurances to Canadian investors pursuing projects in Russia. Trade commissioners in Moscow will continue to advance Canadian exporter, investor and innovation interests by reaching out to Russian officials and business community leaders to promote Canada as a “top of mind” partner, by helping to address market access barriers and by providing Canadian businesses with timely and relevant information about commercial opportunities and conditions in Russia. Trade Commissioners in Canada will continue to bolster Canadian company awareness of the considerable commercial opportunities that exist in Russia and its increasing global value chain role as a strategic bridge between the large markets of East Asia and Europe.

Market Access

Canada has the following Trade Agreements with Russia:


  • FIPA


  • Trade and Commerce


  • Capital Goods and Services Deliveries


  • Economic Cooperation


  • Double Taxation


  • Air Services

Recently, we have enhanced our bilateral relations with Russia through:


  • Canada-Russia Business Summit (Ottawa)
  • Joint Leaders’ Statement on Canada-Russia Economic Cooperation


  • Canada-Russia Joint Statement on Economic Cooperation
  • Canada-Russia Memorandum of Understanding on Fisheries Cooperation
  • Canada-Russia Joint Statement on Agricultural Cooperation
  • Declaration of Intent to Cooperate on Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Arctic Cooperation
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Nuclear Cooperation


  • Canada-Russia Business Summit (Moscow)

Unless otherwise stated, all data is for 2009 and expressed in Canadian dollars. All data based on latest available national statistics drawn from a variety of sources, including Statistics Canada, Export Development Canada, Bank of Canada, IMF WEO and UNCTAD.

For further information, visit the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website or contact the Trade Commissioner Service at 1-888-306-9991.


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Fast Facts

  • Capital: Moscow
  • Total Area: 17,075,200 km²
  • Population: 141.9 million
  • Language(s): Russian, others
  • Type of Government: Mixed presidential/parliamentary democracy
  • GDP: $1.4 trillion
  • GDP per Capita: $9,897
  • Major Export Destinations: Netherlands, Italy, China, Germany and Turkey
  • Major Import Sources: China, Germany, United States, Ukraine and France
  • Main Exports: Mineral fuels and oils, Iron and steel, Aluminum, Wood products, Machinery
  • Main Imports: Machinery, Electrical and electronic equipment, Motor vehicles, Pharmaceutical products, Meat
  • Main Canadian Exports (millions): Machinery ($358.1), Meat ($107.7), Vehicles ($79.4), Aerospace products ($66.1), Fish and seafood ($61.9)
  • Main Canadian Imports (millions): Mineral fuel and oils ($1.3 billion), Iron and steel ($47.0), Fish and seafood ($39.1), Fertilizers ($37.4), Inorganic chemicals ($25.5)
  • Currency: C$1=27.82 Roubles (RUB)

The Canada Trade Commissioner Service