Source Pravda.Ru

Propping up Russian industrial exports

Large-scale state export guarantees are out of the question this year, Russia's Economic Development and Trade Minister Gherman Gref believes.

It's crystal clear that we have lost time; consequently, it will be quite difficult to provide export guarantees worth $500 million in line with the federal budget this year, Gref told a Government session here today, while reporting on the implementation of the Cabinet's decisions with regard to state industrial-export guarantees.

We'll be unable to provide all-out export guarantees over the entire 2004 period, Gref told those present.

In his words, the relevant normative-legal base has already been drafted to some extent; however, we must now endorse all these documents, Gref added.

Talking to RIA Novosti some time ago, a Cabinet source noted that the Government intended to issue its export-guarantee resolution soon enough.

The Economic Development and Trade Minister drew the Cabinet's attention to the fact that, despite more substantial industrial exports last year, their share continued to diminish, totalling less than nine percent throughout the 2003 period. Gref explained this by skyrocketing fuel-and-energy prices.

Meanwhile the world's countries export additional machinery and equipment, the Minister noted. Industrial goods total 40 percent of worldwide export volumes; the breakdown for the United States, Germany and Japan, is 50 percent, 50 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

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Tillerson must go!