1. Russia within the International Trade System ……………………………3
2. Regulation of External Economic Activities………………………………..4
3. Foreign Trade Pattern……………………………………………………….6
1. Russia and the international trade system
According to a medium-term forecast for developments in the area of the international economy, business revival is cumulating momentum after the recession it experienced in early 1990s. It had a relevant effect on the world trade. In 1994 the average international trade turnover showed a
9.5 percent growth being a record figure in the last 20 years and by 3 times exceeding the increase in the international production. In 1995 the
World Trade Organization estimated 8 percent increase in trade turnover as compared with a 3 percent growth in the world production. World Bank experts think that in the next 10 years an average increase in foreign trade will make 6 percent annually.
An economic run-up in most industrialized countries was followed by a growing demand for many products and a consecutive price hike on international markets.
Oil markets showed a balance of demand and supply in 1995. Average prices of Dubai oil were at $ 123 per metric ton, by 14.9 percent exceeding
1994 averages. Owning to small increase in the world oil consumption and practically unchanged supply situation no perceptible change of prices is expected.
A trend of natural gas prices on markets in Western Europe was practically the same as the oil price dynamics. In 1995 average prices were by 13.4 percent higher as compared with 1994.
Prices of nonferrous metals have risen dramatically. In 1995 average world prices were as follows: aluminum -- $ 1806 per metric ton (20.3 percent rise in comparison with 1994), copper -- $ 2933 (higher by 23.3 percent), nickel -- $ 8063 (19.3 percent growth).
As a result of the 1994-95 record price surge in the whole period after the World War II cellulose joined the leaders with a 50 percent price hike (up to more than $ 1000 per metric ton). According to a middle-range outlook price stabilization accompanied by a slight price rise is expected.
As market relations develop, process of internal price structure formation continues in Russia and it gradually closes to the price system existing on world markets. In 1995 contract prices grew perceptibly, however, prices of a majority of energy resources lagged behind those on the world trade markets in terms of rates of increase. The outcome was a worsening balance between contract and world prices.
An important role in development of the international trade is played by the GATT/WTO which for 48 years tried to work out the fundamentals of a future world trade basing on principles of observance of the Agreement's general regulations aimed to keep up non-discrimination of individual states and to a gradual elimination of barriers slowing down mutual exchange of commodities. Since 1950 the world trade turnover has increased by 13 times and eight rounds of multilateral trade negotiations held under the GATT's auspices have led to a ten-fold cut of average customs duties.
At present it makes a bit less than 4 percent.
Russia's accession to the WTO will make it possible to tap all measures existing within the framework of this organization in order to protect Russia's economic interests. At present direct or concealed discrimination of Russian producers and traders on markets of certain countries is among factors affecting Russian exports dynamics. Thus, only the ban on Russian uranium exports to the USA has led to losses for Russia, as estimated by some experts, at $170 million a year. The total number of anti-dumping procedures imposed upon Russia has reached 41. More than a half of them (22) are qualified as openly discriminatory cases or unjustified claims by the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations.
In the summer of 1995 the first round of negotiations between the
Russian delegation and the WTO's Working Group on Russia took place in
Geneva. Members of the Working Group apprised information on foreign trade regulations stated in the Russian Memorandum as exhaustive enough.
An outcome of the second round taking place from December 4 to 7 of