Parliament votes for WTO
The Russian Federation State Duma has voted to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) eighteen years after negotiations were started. The vote was narrowly won as the ruling United Russia faction was pitched against the rest of the parliament.
Economic Development Minister Andrei Belousov admitted that it would cost the country around $5.7 billion in lost customs duties next year but it was expected to be balanced out by increased trade.
The move will reduce import tariffs from 10% to 7.5% and will open up investment in sectors such as telecommunications and the auto industry to foreign investment. World Bank estimates put Russian GDP growth at 3.3% in the short term and up to 11% in the long term as a result of the move.
The Russian Federation will become a full member of the WTO 30 days after it is ratified. The move also overcame another hurdle when the Constitutional Court said on Monday that the deal was in line with local laws.