Russia – Trade Policy
RUSSIA IN THE
MULTILATERAL TRADING SYSTEM
The accession of the Russian Federation to the WTO on 22
August 2012 marked a landmark in the country's integration into the
multilateral trading system.
Russia's accession to the WTO was accompanied by fundamental
legislative changes that laid solid and predictable foundations in the Russian
market for all its participants, including foreign trade operators. As a
result, the implementation of the WTO rules into the national legislation has
contributed towards an improvement in Russia's international ratings. For
instance, since 2012, Russia has been annually moving upwards in the Doing
Business rating compiled by the World Bank Group. From being ranked 120th (out
of 183) in 2012, Russia moved to the 51st place (out of 189) in 2016.
During the past four years, Russia's trade policy was
predominantly focused on further integration into the multilateral trading
system and liberalization of the trade regime, both in the context of the WTO
commitments and within the regional economic integration.
While participating in the regional integration processes,
the Russian Federation continuously demonstrates its commitment to maintaining
and strengthening the critical role of the WTO as the main platform for the
negotiations on multilateral trade liberalization, as well as for the
development and enforcement of the multilateral trade rules. Russia welcomes
the conclusion of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, which sets the grounds for
reducing the costs of trade operations. The benefit from the implementation of
this agreement to the Russian economic operators is estimated to be between
US$10 and 27 billion. Moreover, this agreement will stimulate the modernization
of customs administration, expansion of international trade, and strengthening
of economic competitiveness of all the WTO Members.
Through the presentation of the first national trade policy
review in the WTO the Russian Federation reiterates its commitment to
transparency of trade policy regime.
Russia actively promotes the initiative aimed at improving
transparency mechanisms for regional trade agreements on various international
platforms - WTO, APEC, G-20. The need to address systemic impact of regional
trade agreements on the multilateral trading system and to improve transparency
of the regional economic integrations was reflected in the WTO Ministerial
Declaration of the Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi (Kenya).
As part of the preparations for the Tenth WTO Ministerial
Conference, Russia had submitted a proposal on the draft resolution on
transparency in domestic regulation of services and advocated in favor of
strengthening transparency rules in anti-dumping and countervailing
investigations. Russia will continue its work on the aforementioned initiatives
within the specialized working bodies of the WTO.
ECONOMIC AND TRADE
Since the end of 2012, the Russian economy has experienced a
slowdown. Compared to a 3.5% GDP increase in 2012, in 2013 it amounted to 1.3%,
and in 2014 - 0.6%. In 2015, there was an absolute GDP reduction of 3.7%, for
the first time since 2009. Overall, between 2012 and 2015, the average GDP
growth rate amounted to 0.5%.
At the same time, in 2015 the nominal GDP increased by 35.4%
as compared to 2011 and amounted to 80.804 billion rubles.
In 2015 - early 2016, the development of the
Russian economy was negatively affected by the external factors. Deteriorating
external economic environment together with anti-Russian trade sanctions have