Region/Countries: Europe, Russia Industry: Multiple Sectors Date: May 2017

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The U.S. is the second-highest source of this investment, and Wisconsin companies not yet considering this market may wish to take a closer look.

Russia's GDP has been growing for the third consecutive quarter, according to preliminary estimates, and in April alone the increase was as much as 1.4 percent, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Already we can now say that a new phase of recovery has begun in the economy," Putin noted. Car sales and mortgage loans—key indicators of economic recovery—are on the rise, Putin said at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 2.

Among European countries, Russia has risen to seventh place in terms of popularity with foreign investors, according to the results of a poll conducted by EY consulting services and published on the company's website June 1.

Throughout 2016, foreign investors put money into a total of 205 projects in Russian territory—the  highest annual total for Russia since the researchers started tracking this figure in 2005.

In terms of sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Russia, Germany and the U.S. hold the top spots in terms of the number of projects. The number of German projects has risen by almost 20 percent, from 36 to 43. For the U.S., 2016 was a record year: The number of projects by American companies went up by 31 percent to reach 38, which is the highest level seen since the research began.

Western Europe remains the main source of investment in the Russian economy. In 2016, this region accounted for 98 FDI projects - only a small difference from the 100 recorded a year earlier. The number of projects by French investors in Russia remained stable at 20 in both 2015 and 2016. At the same time, the number of projects with investment from Italy has dropped 12 to 7. Austria has taken Italy's place in the trio of leading European investors in Russia; Austrian companies invested in nine Russian projects in 2016.