Russia’s WTO Entry Reaffirms Course on Economic Reforms – Shuvalov

By joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russia has reaffirmed its course on the modernization of its economy and liberalization of its trade with other countries, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the Eastern Committee of German Economy on Thursday, Shuvalov said Russia’s next step in the same direction would be the accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“If everything goes according to plans, we are hoping that Russia will finalize negotiations on the accession to this [OECD] organization by 2014,” he said.

Russia officially joined the WTO on August 22 as the protocol on its accession to the Marrakesh Agreement, the foundation document for the world trade club, entered into force.

The document, which was signed in Geneva on December 16, 2011 after 18 years of negotiations, made Russia the global trade body’s 156th member.

As part of its accession, Russia has initiated a number of measures designed to open up its economy, including tariff reductions on a range of industrial goods and measures to liberalize the Russian services sector, including phased liberalization of the Russian financial and professional services sectors.

The World Bank estimates that Russia’s WTO membership will boost the country’s GDP by 3.3% annually for the first three years, with that figure likely to increase later.


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