The demand of the Russian Organisation of Furniture Producers that customs duties on furniture be raised is no scare to the Swedish Ikea furniture concern. This is according to the statement made by Lennart Dalgren, Ikea's man responsible for Russian sales, while speaking to a reporter of the Swedish TT news agency. The statement as to the necessity of hiking the customs duty had been made by Olga Gurleva, the General Director of the Organisation of Russia's Furniture Producers.
Lennart Dalgren said, 'Ikea and Russian customs speak the same language'. He believes that the demand to raise the duty has nothing to do with Russia's wish to join the World Trade Organisation. Mr. Dalgren believes that Russia's producers should concentrate on improving the quality of their furniture and making it more competitive. He further said these producers should stop their attempts at intimidating importers whose products are very much in demand.
According to Mr. Dalgren, this appeal of Russia's producers of furniture to hike the duty by 20% is due to the fact that the Ikea that not so long ago had just one store in Russia now accounts for no less than 10% of furniture market in the country.
Russia is among the countries where the Swedish furniture giant intends to strike a long root. Recently, the company opened its second store in Moscow and is now negotiating with the administrations of St. Petersburg and 11 more large Russian cities.