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MOSCOW, October 19 (Itar-Tass) - The chief of Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sergey Katyrin, has said the fears Russia’s market would be flooded by foreign imports after the country’s accession to the WTO have proved largely unjustified.
“On the contrary, the import growth rates have declined,” Katyrin told President Vladimir Putin at a working meeting on Friday. “According to our early estimates, this important parameter has declined by 2.5 percent. The rate of import is at a record-low.”
As an example, Katyrin mentioned the import of seafood. Its import has slumped 20 percent while the taxes have remained unchanged and no protectionist measures have been introduced.
At the same time Katyrin drew the president’s attention to attempts by some businessmen to shirk paying customs duties on imported light industry products.
“Great amounts of leather footwear being brought into the country are declared as rubber products. Taxes on these are far lower,” he said, adding that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry was trying to address this issue in cooperation with the government.
Also, Katyrin said that the European Union used its own methodology to recalculate the prices of Russian goods, such as fuels, metal, pipes and fertilizers.
“As a result our products lose competitiveness,” he said. “We believe that the government might take the corresponding steps within the WTO.”