Notes for a Russian Business perspective

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"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe."
 – H.G. Wells, The Outline of History
Business always depends on the economic environment, which is largely shaped by History and Geography. This last fact is something frequently forgotten at Business Schools and it is the cause of many investment and marketing failures that could have been prevented. At the base of every economy we find a geography that shapes economic activity, local culture and national features. Switzerland is one example. It is a country of bankers with many foreign clients because it is the cradle of two of the main rivers of Europe: the Rhine and the Rhone. Rivers facilitate transport, so those rivers made Switzerland the hub of trade between the North and the South; between the merchant Hanseatic free cities and the merchant Italian Republics.
During the Middle Ages the fairs of Basel and Geneva were the most important ones and soon both cities became financial clearing houses for foreign merchants.
- Umberto Mazzei, IREI Sismondi, Geneva.
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