Friends, while we Americans get one type of media coverage regarding the sanctions being leveled at Russia, other nations are seeing the situation from different vantage points. Below is an example from India––but before that a few words about what Russian entrepreneurs (our alumni) and other younger Russian men and women said this past two weeks about their country and the sanctions.
SANCTIONS/QUIET CONFIDENCE: The general outlook of Russians I spoke with is one of quiet confidence …. saying that sanctions will turn out good for Russia in the long run––that Russia must become self sufficient––remarking that Russia became infatuated with foreign products in the 1990s. At that time they felt Russia didn't need to manufacture high-end products, that they could purchase them from other countries. However, the situation has changed. Today production has become the "in" discussion wherever one goes. The sanctions have helped bring this about. Several Russians remarked that they hoped the sanctions lasted for three years or more, since that would give Russians sufficient time to learn to manufacture formerly imported items themselves. The Russian government is offering financial support to entrepreneurs who are ready to move into consumer production.
MANUFACTURING: During a Petersburg newspaper interview a couple of days ago, I mentioned a proposal I'd developed to bring the sewing industry back to America's shores. Immediately I was asked if I would speak with StPetersburg authorities about restarting Russia's apparel industry. The appointment was quickly made, and I found myself talking with Russians who have the connections to make these types of possibilities happen. Who knows where it will go? In the short time between the interview and our appointment, they had checked out my history and opened discussions telling me what they knew about the apparel manufacturing business I started in 1974 in Texas (and is still in existence). The information is online. They were aware of our CCI apparel incubator in St.Petersburg which operated and trained many young clothing designers for 13 years––they had known of it since inception.