Saturday, November 18, 2006

Russia-US bilateral WTO deal

Source: US and Russia sign bilateral WTO deal - CNN

Russia’s 13-year-old bid to join the World Trade Organization ended for them successfully on Sunday as the former superpower and the US signed a deal removing the last major obstacle needed in order for Russia to join; the agreement took place at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hanoi.

Russia’s economy minister, German Gref, cited the deal as a “very substantial milestone in the full integration of Russia into the global economy.” Russia was the last major economy outside the WTO and stands to significantly benefit after joining; in particular, obstacles are removed for Russia’s access to U.S. beef, pork and poultry markets. Additionally, Russia has agreed to help combat piracy and counterfeiting of foreign goods.

The deal’s making, the 57th of a string of similar agreements signed by Russia in the past six years, is attributed to the positive contact between Presidents Bush and Putin. The process is not finished, however, until multilateral talks are concluded, and that’s expected to happen mid-way through 2007.

Analysts expect normal trade relations with Russia to encourage US companies to invest and do business with the country.


- With new channels of import and export business, will corruption in Russia decrease as a result, or will corruption have to decrease before such business is to effectively begin?

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