Almost two decades after negotiations began Russia is set to join the World Trade Organization. Russia, the biggest country to enter the WTO since China joined ten years ago, is expected to be confirmed as a member during the ministerial meeting in mid-December.
Sergei Aleksashenko, former deputy minister of finance of the Russian Federation and former deputy governor of the Russian central bank is quoted that...
1) Russia’s accession to the WTO shall not have any substantial impact on its economics. Many of technical detailes were cleared during past years of negotiaions, measures taken. In general the overall accession program does not entail structural changes and decisions that would significantly alter the economic situation in Russia.
2) Some import duties will fall as a result of WTO accession. In theory, this suggests that imported goods could become a little cheaper. At the same time, the greater openness and liberalization in foreign trade that comes along with WTO membership will mean slightly stiffer competition from imported goods on the Russian market, which will benefit consumers.
3) Metals and chemicals exporters will gain some marginal advantages because these two industries produce processed goods, and the WTO is an organization that regulates export tariffs only on such commodities, not raw materials. Under WTO regulations, the tariffs will be lowered for commodities exporters. This could represent sizable sums for particular businesses. But on a national scale, the boost would be only a negligible figure.