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Majority of EU and G7 companies have kept their Russian businesses despite the invasion of Ukraine, Swiss economists say

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The majority of companies headquartered in EU and G7 countries have continued operating in Russia despite its invasion of Ukraine, according to a new study by two Swiss-based economists.

New research from University of St. Gallen economics professor Simon Evenett and his colleague Niccolo Pisani, a professor at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, concluded that as of February 24 – the date Russia invaded Ukraine – there were 2,405 subsidiaries of 1,404 EU and G7 firms operating in the country.

By the end of November 2022, “less than 9% of this pool of companies had divested at least one subsidiary in Russia.” The divestment rates “barely changed during the fourth quarter of 2022,” the economists noted.

The researchers’ findings “challenge the narrative that there is a vast exodus of Western firms” leaving the Russian market. According to Evenett and Pisani researchers, more US companies have left Russia than those based in the EU and Japan.

Fewer than 18% of US subsidiaries operating in Russia have been completely divested since the invasion of Ukraine. In contrast, 15% of Japanese firms and only 8.3% of EU firms have left Russia. Of those EU and G7 firms remaining in Russia, 19.5% are based in Germany, 12.4% are American-owned, and 7% are Japanese multinationals.

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