Source Pravda.Ru

Who Needs the WTO?

It is better not to let foreign businessmen into the country now than have to drive them out later with guns
Governmental PR in Russia is obviously on the decline. Despite the fact that so much was said and published about incorporation into the WTO, the situation is still vague. The government either doesn’t know itself why Russia needs to be incorporated into the WTO, or for unknown reasons, conceals information from the nation. In this situation, lobbyists express their thoughts rather distinctly. There is a suspicion that much time will lapse before Russia enters the WTO. Is there anyone to explain how Russia will profit from entering the WTO?

Today, the RF Chamber of Industry and Commerce held an extended session of its committee for financial markets and credit organizations. Executive secretary of the Chamber Igor Yurgens told journalists that the central lobbyist organization of the country decided that access to the Russian market should be restricted for foreign companies, no matter what those liberals in the WTO may say about it.

Indeed, what’s the use of rich and aggressive foreign rivals to Russian companies? Capitalism in Russia is too young to compete on equal terms with monsters reigning over the world. Russia’s economy is currently a bleeding wound after the privatization schemes and redistribution of property. No matter what sphere we look at, all of them are very vulnerable: the banking sector, insurance market, telecommunications, consulting, hotels, and international transportation.

Russians are not idiots. We also have considerable experience in forcing undesirable foreigners from out of the country. This experience is especially great under Russian Aluminum Director Oleg Deripaska, the main opponent to Russia’s entry into the WTO. In fact, there is much fuss about the problem already; Russia hasn’t yet learned how to settle problems without cries and protests. It is better not to let foreign businessmen into the country now than have to drive them out later with guns.

However, foreign businessmen won’t keep quiet, and they still seek to enter the Russian market. Thirty three countries of a total number of the 65 members of the working group created especially for Russia’s entry into the WTO evince great interest in entering the Russian market. Negotiations are currently especially active with the USA, the European Union, Canada, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, South Korea, and several Eastern Europe countries.

Igor Yurgens says that these countries are especially interested in Russia’s financial sectors (insurance, banking, securities). Thank God that Russian negotiators are strong as steel concerning these problems. There are more than enough legal restrictions to be used to restrict the activity of foreign companies.

Kira Poznakhirko PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://economics.pravda.ru/economics/2002/7/21/64/3158_WTORussia.html

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