There are competing views on how Russia ought to progress now that the
elections are finished. Most focus on whether Russia ought to produce
more from its oil and gas resources, or whether it ought to attempt to
diversify its economic basket.
How might they diversify? What mechanisms may aid the state? There is
its accession to the World Trade Organization and its joining of the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The latter
group promotes policies that will improve the economic and social
well-being of people.
Last week, Russia signed the OECD Anti-Corruption Convention and
agreed to allow the organization to monitor its compliance. In
addition, the WTO will pose its own regulations so that each trading
partner will be assured of fair-handedness.
These two important changes to Russia's policies ought to reduce the
operation of rent-seeking by many officials that have made progress
time-consuming, frustrating and costly. Specifically, the WTO will aid
Russia's trade flows by ensuring that transparent customs clearance
becomes a quick and efficient process, rather than randomly holding
back goods as occurs at
New science parks such as Skolkovo offer much hope. They are one of
the main drivers behind the country's strategy through 2020 - that
technology and innovation will drive Russia's productivity growth. If
done correctly, incubator science parks can attract new investment and
further the country's path toward greater diversification.
At the same time, however, Russians have little experience completing
the route from pure science or research and development to innovation
and bringing that innovation to market.
President-elect Vladimir Putin is expected to continue his strong
policies concerning the exploitation of oil, gas and other mineral
reserves. Yet, being a prudent politician, he will also help a broad
spectrum of citizens by ensuring that they are supported across a wide
front. To this end, the WTO and OECD programs will bring Russia to
Frank-Jürgen Richter is founder and chairman of Horasis, a global
Horasis is a global visions community committed to enact visions for a sustainable future. (http://www.horasis.org)
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