INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS people around the world, including Europeans, are following China’s lead in staying neutral over the war in Eastern Europe, a new study shows.
While 45 British firms have left Russia, only ten French and two Italian companies have followed suit, Yale researchers said. No Spanish firms have left.
The west’s call for withdrawal is being followed by some United States and British companies, plus some from the Nordic nations. But numbers are small.
Researchers contacted 1,369 international companies in Russia and learned that only 326 had fully withdrawn their staff or closed operations.
Most have made token or temporary responses, or none at all. HSBC, the London-registered bank which is run largely from Hong Kong, has postponed plans for development, but is otherwise continuing business in Russia.
The most popular stance among the firms which have taken action has been to suspend operations with the option of restarting them in the future.
While there’s huge publicity over the withdrawal of Starbucks and McDonald’s, their actions need to be put into context. The number of firms in Russia with more than 50 per cent foreign ownership was 48,216, according to a Statista report last year.
The low take-up rate of the call for withdrawal is even more surprising when one considers that the Yale study makes no pretence of being neutral. It is being managed by academic Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a loud critic of Russia.
The Yale website provides a link to a list of contact addresses of companies surveyed which have NOT withdrawn from Russia, so readers can criticize them directly. No contact details are given for firms which have withdrawn from Russia.
Image at the top by Tori Nefores/ Unsplash