Russia is the partner country at this year's Hanover Trade Fair, running April 8-12. Interest in investment from Germany is high among the Russian population, and many Russians say they would like a German employer.
A clear majority of Russians (72 percent) are convinced that their country is an attractive place for foreign investors. German investors, in particular, play a key role in the eyes of the Russian population. This is reflected in a DW trend report for the month of March 2013. DW's Russian Department commissioned the Ukrainian division of opinion research firm IFAK to conduct telephone surveys with 1,000 people aged 18 to 65. The polls were conducted in Russian cities with more than 50,000 residents.
Russians believe their country is enticing for German investors thanks in large part to its energy resources. That's what 41 percent of surveyed individuals said. 27 percent of participants said Russia is interesting for German investors as a retail market. Far fewer Russians view domestic technologies or qualified personnel as decisive in drawing international money. Just one out of ten respondents said Russian technology (10 percent) and Russian labor (9 percent) would attract German investors.
German companies enjoy a special level of backing in Russia with Germany at the top of the list of countries from which Russians like to see investment. 38 percent of those surveyed said German investment is most preferable to them, followed by 26 percent who said Japan. Investors from the USA came in behind China in the ranking, with support from 12 percent and 17 percent of respondents, respectively
The poll also indicated that Russians view German companies positively as employers. 52 percent said they would like to work in Russia for a company belonging to a German investor. Studies have shown that qualities stereotypically associated with being "German" count in this regard. They include reliability and fair working conditions as well as longer-term prospects of being hired as a permanent employee.
However, Russians see clear hurdles for foreign investors. Around two thirds of respondents (67 percent) are convinced that corruption must be fought in their country in order for the investment climate to improve. Around one third (31 percent) view Russian bureaucracy as an obstacle that should be eliminated to draw investors. However, a lack of democracy is perceived by very few as a problem in terms of the investment climate. Just seven percent of those polled said they see cause for action there.
The poll reflects the enduring popularity of German companies as business partners for Russia - a fact worth considering as Russia serves as this year's partner country at the Hanover Trade Fair.
Ukrainian police have cleared a government building of pro-Russian separatists in the country's southeast. Meanwhile, Russia's foreign minister has criticized the US and EU for their 'involvement' in the crisis.
They laugh, joke and play with children: The heavily armed men in camouflage uniforms without badges are trying to come off not as bandits but as protectors in eastern Ukraine. And it appears to be working.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has made no secret of his critical attitude toward the EU. But the conservative politician won't dare risk an open split between Brussels and Budapest.