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How the WTO Impacts the Russian Economy

Harsh criticism of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has become so common in the free world that we tend to forget its invaluable role in helping ordinary folk make money. Nowhere in the world is this more apparent than in the remains of the Soviet Union, such as Russia. This year is a watershed year for the WTO, as it marks the entry of Russia in an international system which helps ordinary citizens in member countries make money through small enterprise. Indeed, it is such concerns which make WTO officials take part in endless rounds of negotiations. Some people, especially those with steady and salaried jobs, tend to look down on the WTO, for it does not matter to them in real life.

Money concerns of entrepreneurs are however different. Many opportunities lie in conducting trade and commerce with counterparts in other nations, and opportunities to make money are lost in a maze of centralized and bureaucratic procedures. And Russia is a typical example of this malaise. People with great ideas cannot make money out of them because all trade is routed through a central channel. High financial and operational hurdles deter talented and skilled citizens from chances to make decent sums of money.

This is why we see a skewed development of Russia after the demise of the Soviet Union, with rapid wealth accumulation in some privileged and resourced niches, while the bulk of the people still lack money to lead decent lives. This is ironical because the people of this vast land had high commercial acumen throughout the ages until the Bolshevik revolution broke their private business backs.

Russia, as a full member of the WTO, will be forced to award economic freedom to the people. This will not just make money for them, but will benefit consumers everywhere who can do with superior products and services from Russia. Demand for many international brands is high in Moscow and in the other cities, so the whole world stands to gain by a liberal trade regime taking over from the grim days of the Kremlin.

 



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