Russia appears to be set for a fairly long period of normality. Looking back over the past decade, economic and business development for western companies was good compared with other emerging markets in Latin America or those such as Turkey. Business grew well from 1990 to the first dip in 1993 and then surged for several years before the rouble crash of 1998. The bounce-back was reasonably quick for most companies, and they are again reporting solid results and higher sales than just
before the 1998 crisis.
One manager of a western health company has summed up the situation, saying: "The real work starts now." He meant that in the 1990s there were surges, volatility and the 1998 crash. The trend thereafter would be for some steady slog, steady growth models and managing corporate expectations - most of the normal issues of day-to-day business anywhere in the world. For those who enjoy working in Russia,
this should not mean that doing business there will be as exciting as doing business in, say, Luxembourg. The Russian business environment may be becoming more normal, but there will be highs, lows and surprises on the way.