British Petroleum and its purchase
Economical columnists are choked with emotions: foreign investments are flowing to Russia! British Petroleum is investing 7 billion dollars in Russian oil industry! Its stock rose by 4 percent! Though, let us settle down. These billions will be for sure obtained by a tycoon, and even a part of it will hardly settle in Russia.
Since the time of first contracts between foreign and Russian businessmen, in all negotiations on joint companies, one question was traditionally asked: how to remove the earned money from Russia? The foreigners were at the least concerned with the questions of Russian industry revival. So, if even Russian dared to hint at any other conditions besides obviously crushing terms, the talks at once stopped.
And this is understandable. Western businessmen are not interested in creation of fool-blooded competitors of Russian enterprises. They are naturally interested in obtaining raw materials or – at best – in supplement of complement parts, if Russians can produce something. Though this kind of partnership is only local. No work places appear in related sectors: both technology and equipment are supplied from the West, the staff is prepared in the West, too. Western partners are attracted exclusively by cheap labour force. Therefore, joint companies and export-oriented industries remain only a kind of prosperity islands in the sea of crashing Russian economy.
The strategy of western businessmen is completely rational from their point of view: they make efforts for their countries’ development. While Russians must unfortunately resign themselves with the fact, that Russian businessmen do not hold the same opinion. Just think: selling such a significant part of Russian capital to foreigners means Russian businessmen’ refusal from concern for their own economy. Continuing to think in this same way, we could conclude that the 7 billion dollars will be cashed and pumped over to the debugged western machine, at least this same thing happened so many times.
So, we hardly could account on any positive influence of this bargain upon Russian industry. Nothing to be glad of.
Alexandr Alexeev, Candidate of Technical Science Special to PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://economics.pravda.ru/economics/2003/7/21/64/7064_BritPetroleum.html
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