Today in Russian Business – Jan 25, 2012

Corporate law firms are actively seeking out foreign companies based in Russia in a bid to help them win back tax money amid claims of ‘tax discrimination’.  Russia needs more qualified workers: ‘No matter how well we organize our demographic policies, new people in such quantities will not be appearing soon.’  Industrial production is at its lowest level since October 2009 over concern’s about the European debt crisis.  The Governor of Irkutsk is calling for a ‘real deadline’ for the close of the Baikal Pulp and Paper mill – controversial due to its waste-dumping at the UNESCO world heritage site of Lake Baikal.  Sales of mobile handsets in Russia have returned to pre-crisis levels, rising roughly 16% to over 40 million units last year.  Low levels of wheat available for exporting, displaced by limited resources in the south, are pushing prices up.  The Novorossiysk aims to export 1.2 million metric tons of grain in the first quarter.