Posted on Friday 09 January 2009 - 07:55:00
«The Russians are the best at making three things: cognac, ballet and tanks…»
Winston Churchill
«…And they import all the rest...»
An unknown businessman

During 75 years of the Soviet Union’s existence Russia had almost no foreign goods. Having screened off the capitalist world, the state regained entire control over the economy and production sector and on its own, to some ex-tent, provided the population with the goods made locally. Due to the lack of competition and overall technical underdevelopment of plants and factories, almost all the products, with a few exceptions, were of average or low quality. And though the official ideology attainted the Western European and especially American lifestyle in every way, all the population stood in awe with regards to jeans, boots, audio equipment and cigarettes made out of the Socialist countries. A Japanese TV-set was a major pride of a family, and a common German ballpoint pen became an object of black envy at school.
By now the situation has changed. Not dramatically though. There is still no competitive Russian production in the country. For instance, there is no hope that the car industry will reach an adequate level to rival European and American corporate groups. The Russian Lada will be bought only if there is no chance at all to buy a Toyota or a Citroen, and at first opportunity it will be substituted with a car not of domestic origin. The situation is the same with cosmetic products, clothes, household appliances. Purely Russian brands are leading only in the area of telecommunications and mobile communications, but even here foreign firms are peeking out from the backs of Russian entrepreneurs.
Author:        RPM™

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