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MOSCOW, December 18. /ITAR-TASS/. The Bali Package adopted by member-states of the World Trade Organization in early December is good for the Russian economy and will allow Russian companies to get better access to markets, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev writes in an article published by the Vedomosti business daily on Wednesday.
On December 7, ministers from 159 countries reached a deal intended to boost global trade at a meeting in Bali, Indonesia. In particular, they adopted an agreement on trade facilitation, five agreements on agriculture, including that on food security policies and a declaration on export competition, and four documents to support least developed countries. The Bali Package creates the base for completing the Doha Round negotiations on global trade liberalization that have been deadlocked since 2008. They are targeted at lowering tariffs on farm products and industrial goods.
“The Russian economy will benefit from the Bali agreements,” Ulyukayev wrote. “Domestic companies will get better access to markets, while unfair competition in the agricultural sector will reduce. Least developed and developing countries will get additional opportunities for the growth, what will stabilize the global economy.”
“Easier trade rules mean significant improvement of export conditions for our companies, including exporters of products with high added value. This concerns chemistry, petrochemistry, pulp and paper industry, machine-building and metal works. They will get very good chances to increase their hold on the markets, where our positions are not so good,” the minister wrote.
“Agreements on agriculture envision higher transparency of mechanisms of tariff quotas,” Ulyukayev wrote in his article. “We have bigger interest in enhancing export programs of agricultural producers, while many markets are closed by quotas and administered not always clearly for sellers. As in case with the customs procedures Russia’s quota management system is much clearer and more open, we do not have to drastically change it, but many of our partners should do this.”
“The agreements on export subsidies in agriculture confirm intentions of the WTO member-states to abandon them in the future,” he continued. “Russia does not use such subsidies, which means that we will benefit in this case as well.”
“The agreements will enter into force in the middle of 2015, when the WTO General Council plans to approve the agreements and in eighteen months there will be the implementation stage. Advanced countries will start implementing the agreements signed. Developing and least developed countries will implement only some provisions, other ones they will fulfill in compliance with the schedule they will define themselves in a WTO working group. I think that effects will be seen in three-five years,” Ulyukayev wrote.
“The Doha Development Agenda is much broader than the Bali Package,” an action plan for which “should be developed during 2014.” “We will take part in this work, but now it is still early to say what will be included in the plan and in what form,” he added.
Speaking of the short-term tasks Russia set for itself in the WTO, Ulyukayev mentioned a dispute over vehicle recycling fees. Moreover, he recalled that “at present, Russia is preparing lawsuits against the EU to the WTO on the Third Energy Package and energy adjustments, as Moscow does not like the adjustment of an energy component in the price for Russian goods that the European Union uses in its anti-dumping investigations,” he wrote. In September 2007 the European Commission produced a new bloc of the European legislation, the so-called Third Energy Package approved by the EU authorities in 2009. The document seeks to liberalize the European gas market by barring suppliers from controlling the transport infrastructure used to deliver their gas.