NFPA Update, A Resurgent Russia and a New Global Order
On Thursday morning, Andrew Kuchins of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, went in-depth on the recent history and future of Russia. My take away from this session was that Russia has been a difficult country to understand historically. It has had an extremely difficult time moving to a free market democracy.
Russia's GDP has grown by a factor of 8 in the past 10 years and its population growth has actually begun to decline. Russia has been an important provider of energy. Some of the factors that correlate with oil pricing though are that in the high-revenue years of the Russian economy, Russian foreign policy had been more aggressive. During the lower-price era, Russia has been more passive and cooperative.
Even though oil pricing will go higher, Mr. Kuchins feels that we could be in for a period of cooperation between the U.S. and Russia for economic reasons. Because of the future opportunities for trade and cooperation, Russia will become more deeply integrated with the West in the view of Mr. Kuchins.
This could present opportunities for fluid power component manufacturers as overall industrial production in Russia should continue to grow. It does not look like a return to a Cold War period is likely and that is good news.