There are plans to raise tariffs on imported cars by a further 30-40% in order to lower them again in five years time by up to 10-15%. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced yesterday by Russian Minister for Economic Development German Gref, who is currently visiting Kaliningrad.
'The government is considering raising tariffs on imported cars for the next three to five years,' said the minister, 'in order to attract investment in the national motor industry and provide greater profitability for those foreign motor companies aiming to start production in Russia. During this time period GAZ and VAZ will either have to make some radical changes to their current production range or they will be pushed out of the market.
He said the rise in import tariffs would not have a negative impact on the population as the increased production of better quality Russian cars would compensate for the rising cost of foreign cars. Later import tariffs will be lowered again by up to 10-15% in line with WTO regulations, which Russia intends to join. Negotiations are currently underway with the WTO to agree on an eight-year transitional period during which these higher import tariffs will be in force.