BRUSSELS, December 16 (Itar-Tass) —— RUSNANO CEO Anatoly Chubais, an ardent supporter of the Russian admission to the World Trade Organization (WTO), hopes the joining of the organization would be followed by accession to the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) which he described as “Russian return to the civilized world.”
On Friday WTO General Secretary Pascal Lamy and Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister Elvira Nabiullina will end 18 years of talks and sign a protocol on the Russian accession at the WTO ministerial meeting.
Chubais, who co-chaired a meeting of Russian and EU industrialists, said Russia will sign new partnership and cooperation agreements with Europe next year followed by a WTO+ free trade zone agreement with the EU, and eventual admission to the OECD.
“The talk is about the Russian return to the civilized world, a legally fixed return. The developments are beginning today and will take place in two-three years,” he said.
“The Russian admission to the WTO is definitely an historical event. We clearly realize it will be followed by a chain of developments that are more important than the joining of the WTO,” he added.
Chubais admitted WTO membership will pose problems for some Russian industries, however consumers will definitely profit from it.
He said the admission will provide an estimated growth of 7.5 percentage points for the innovative industries of Russia however the effect will be negative for others.
“There are industries that will face uneasy situation in competitive conditions,” he said but recalled the industries will have a seven-year transition period to modernize production.
Russian consumers will benefit anyway, he believes.
“No matter how hard producers demand protection and assistance and say they are not prepared for genuine competition that only means they want to live at the expense of the consumer. I am against it as I believe they had enough time (to modernize production),” he said.
“The Russian consumer has the right to have access to competitive products. It means the producers which are not ready for that will lose. They will lose because the Russian consumer cannot indefinitely tolerate inefficiency, excessive costs, and inability of managers,” Chubais said.