As Russia prepares to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), both chambers of the U.S. Congress are currently considering legislation that would lift lingering Cold War-era restrictions that limit trade between U.S. and Russian enterprises.
The move could lead to a number of lucrative opportunities for U.S. businesses. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has estimated that the country's exports to Russia, which already top $10 billion, could double or triple as a result of normalized trade relations. U.S. businesses could also seek to profit from participating in Russian infrastructure projects, which are expected to total $500 billion over the next five years.
The Wall Street Journal speculates that the bill's passage may be delayed due to political concerns. However, since the end of the Cold War, integrating Russia into the WTO and the greater international system has been a bipartisan foreign policy goal. And, with the economy struggling, politicians from both parties are likely to rally around this opportunity to open new avenues for economic growth.
Of course, doing business in emerging economies still entails some level of inherent risk. Counterfeiting and other problematic trends continue to plague businesses that operate in many foreign nations. Keeping track of inventory, production and distribution data is essential for businesses that wish to avoid falling victim to the opportunism of scam artists or the negligence of unreliable or inexperienced partners in local markets.
Implementing a GS1 certified labeling solution can often be the best move for a company that is looking to ensure the security of its supply chain as it expands into new markets. The ability to track and trace shipments through their labeling helps businesses ensure that their local partners are adhering to the standards established by pertinent contracts, laws and international agreements.