WTO Membership Will Help Modernize Economy – Putin

The improved competitive environment in Russia after its accession to the World Trade Organization will help modernize the domestic economy, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

“I expect that tighter competition will spur modernization of our economy,” Putin said in his final report as prime minister to the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament.

Russia needs to join the world trade club to upgrade its production capacities, said Putin who is to return to the Kremlin in May after four years as premier.

“We won’t be able to modernize our economy without accession to the WTO. Until they (Russian producers) feel real competition, they will not invest in modernization,” Putin said.

Some Russian producers may suffer in the short-term from Russia’s entry in the WTO but the Russian government is looking for tools to protect key sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, carmaking and agricultural machinery production, he said.


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