"Sanctions against Russia are costing the German economy €5.45 billion annually. The European Union loses 21 billion euros," with these words Gregor Berghausen, Executive Director of the Düsseldorf Chamber of Commerce, summarised the study of the effects of sanctions on Russia, conducted by the Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich on behalf of the German Chamber of Commerce in several regions and the German-Russian Chamber of Foreign Trade.
A survey of entrepreneurs conducted as part of the study showed that the sanctions have been most impactful on manufacturing sectors such as the machine and automobile industry, the chemical and electronics industry, and the service sector. The increas in bureaucratic costs as the result of the sanctions is the greatest fraction of the economic burden.
According to Munich-based academics, if the sanctions were to be lifted, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia could gain around one billion euros a year, including 318 million euros a year for Düsseldorf alone.
Dr. Ralf Gerushkat, executive director of the South Westphalian Chamber of Commerce (Hagen), adds:
"Restrictive conditions will always challenge international business. Russia is a potentially lucrative market for our medium-sized businesses. Many manufacturing companies in South Westphalia would benefit from the lifting of restrictions.
Professor Dr. Lysandra Flach, head of the Centre for Foreign Economics at the Institute for Economic Research and author of the study concludes:
"All parties could benefit from the lifting of EU sanctions, especially Russia. In Germany, all federal states, especially the eastern states, would benefit economically.
"Germany could increase its exports to Russia by more than 15 percent," explains Aaron Röschke, head of the Russian competence centre in Düsseldorf, based on further results of the study.
"The study shows once again that sanctions in the economy lead to losses on both sides. With tougher sanctions the economic losses will increase, with weaker sanctions it will be possible to increase trade turnover again," Berghausen said in conclusion.