Main page > Comments > Economics > Convinced that Russian economy will remain raw-material oriented, experts appeal to the government to abet its marketability

Convinced that Russian economy will remain raw-material oriented, experts appeal to the government to abet its marketability

The Russian Business and Entrepreneurship Union (Union) drew a resolution titled "Key vectors of anti-crisis policy in 2009" this newspaper got its hands on. Its first provision emphasized the necessity for the government to finally decide what kind of economy Russia would emerge from the crisis with. As far as Union experts are concerned, Russia failed to develop hi-tech industries in the years of prosperity and therefore cannot hope to accomplish it in the period of troubles now. It means that the national economy will remain raw-material oriented. Experts do not say that Russia should forget all about modernization therefore and sit tight waiting for another oil boom. On the contrary, authors of the document urged the government to concentrate on modernization of domestic raw-material businesses so as to make them a match for rivals from Canada, Brazil, and Australia and enable them to retain pre-crisis markets after 2014.

The government was asked to bring down technological equipment and raw-material import duties and encourage consolidation of businesses - as long as it was expedient from the economic standpoint, not political.

"I've been telling whoever will listen that diversification of economy in Russia is a myth for years," Konstantin Simonov of the National Energy Security Foundation said. "We'd better let businesses handle it rather than leaving the state in charge, because all efforts of the latter usually result in appearance of state corporations like Russian Nanotechnologies." Pillars of the national economy - oil and gas industry, metallurgy - were decades behind their analogs in advanced countries, Simonov said.

To a considerable extent, it is technical backwardness of the Russian energy industry that results in gas conflicts with transit countries. Had Russia possessed advanced gas-liquefaction and liquefied gas transportation facilities, its dependance on transit countries would have been considerably less.

Union experts pointed out as well that raw-material prices in the world market were formed beyond and despite Russia. By refusing to produce anything with a high added value, Russia is doomed to remain an exporter of oil and gas and preciously little else. Also importantly, it is doomed to dependance on the global pendulum swinging from booms to declines and back. And this state of affairs entails more than just economic risks.

Source: RBC Daily - February 13, 2009.

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Analytical series “The Political compass”:

Political power in Russia after presidential election
State Corporations in the Russian Economy
Political Results of 2007: Russia on the Eve of Power Shuffle
Political Landscape Ahead of the Parliamentary Election 2007
«Centers of influence» in the Russian politics

All reports for: 2009 , 2008 , 2007

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