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Russia now closer to WTO entry

(Россия теперь ближе к вступлению в ВТО)

11th November, 2011 

On 10th November, 2011, the WTO Working Party on accession of Russia gave its approval to the package on Russia’s term of entry to the World Trade Organisation.  The accession recommendations will be sent to the Ministerial Conference of the WTO Trade Ministers to be held on 15-17 of December this year. After that Russian Parliament will get time to ratify till mid-next year after which Russia will become full-fledged member of the international body.

Earlier, Russia cleared a major hurdle on 9th of this month when it signed a deal to end an old dispute with its neighbour Georgia by agreeing for monitoring of all its trade with Georgia. Russia’s WTO entry is seen as one of the major developments for the world trade particularly when European countries are reeling under economic crisis. This also marks the beginning of more stabilized and “rule-based trade” for the biggest country which spans across two continents and has borders with Japan and America.

Russia started its journey for entry in the WTO in 1993 and its accession process which has now lasted for almost 18 years, was not that smooth, particularly due to the role of government in its international trade.  Russia is a trillion dollar economy having a consumer base of 150 million and the only G 8 nation to be out of the organization though it is the 7th largest exporter in the world.

After the entry, Russia would be bound to lower its import tariff, remove cap on foreign direct investments and also to follow host of other WTO requirements. It will be required to put in place more predictable statutory regime and measures to provide increased access to Russian market. Russia will gain through enhanced investments particularly by European Union which is its biggest partner.

India on its part has always enjoyed a special relationship with Russia. India had the rupee based trade or the credit deals (escrow account) under which India used to get its heavy machinery and other goods from Russia on credit and pay only by way of exports. In the post-WTO entry phase, Indian business will breathe easy in the stable policy and procedural regime of Russia.
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