The start of Russia’s WTO membership on 22 August 2012 gave trade relations with Europe a significant boost. Hamburg, in particular, benefited from the improved economic conditions. The dismantling of trade barriers strengthened Hamburg’s role as the most important hub of Russian trade with the European Union and overseas. Today, some 150 companies with a Russian parent are active in Hamburg. 25 of them came in the past twelve months with support of HWF.
Cargo throughput via the Port of Hamburg also increases above average. Next to China, Russia is the port’s second most important trade partner in seaborne container traffic. In 2012, container handling with Russia increased by 13.3 per cent to 676,000 TEU. In the first six months of 2013, container traffic between Hamburg and Russian ports continued to grow significantly, with volumes climbing by 8.3 per cent to 343,000 TEU.
The positive development is rooted in the introduction of several new Baltic Sea feeder lines, serving also the Russian ports of St. Petersburg and Ust-Luga. Roughly 92 per cent of Russian traffic via the Port of Hamburg is handled by the Russia’s Baltic Sea port of St. Petersburg.
But no only goods find their way to Hamburg. Also Russian companies appreciate Hamburg as an important business location. 150 companies have already settled in Hamburg, the majority with support of HWF. Logistics, shipping and food trade have been the dominating sectors of Russian relocations so far. Today, Hamburg also increasingly attracts companies from the media and IT sector. As full member of WTO, Russia will have to further lower trade barriers and decrease import duties from today’s 9.5 per cent to roughly six per cent. This will further stimulate growth.