At the same time, it should be noted that at the present time there exist no reliable methodologies for forecasting oil prices. The existing uncertainty with regard to the development of the world oil market also clearly reflects on the medium – term forecasts of the world oil prices. Presented in Table 3 are the results of the December 2007 survey carried out by Reuters in cooperation with more than 20 agencies specializing in such forecasts. As is seen from the data, the forecasted prices of Brent for the year 2010 are in the range of 55.75 – 86.8 USD / barrel.
Table The price of Brent in 2008 – 10, as forecasted by the organizations – participants of the Reuters survey (December 2007), USD / barrel 2008 2009 Average value 76.49 71.61 68.Maximum value 95.00 82.00 86.Minimum value 61.75 64.00 55.Source: Reuters.
The more distant the planning horizon, the larger the discrepancy in estimating oil prices. According to the basic version of the latest forecast made by the International Energy Agency of the OECD (hereinafter – IEA), which was published in November 2007, the world price of oil imported into OECD countries will fall to 60 USD / barrel (in the 2006 prices) by the year 2015, and thereafter will slowly grow to 62 USD / barrel (in the 2006 prices) in 2030, or to 108 USD / barrel in nominal terms. In a scenario envisaging high rates of economic growth, it is forecasted that the world price of oil in 2030 will amount to 87 USD / barrel (in the 2006 prices). It could be noted that the latest IEA forecast is considerably higher than this organization’s previous one, which predicted that the price of oil would amount to 47.8 USD / barrel in 2015 and to USD / barrel in 2030 (in the 2005 prices) 10.
The forecast of world oil prices presented by the US Ministry of Energy in 2007 envisages the possibility of fluctuations in oil prices within the range of 34.1 – 89.1 USD in the period until 2020. Given the uncertainty of the existing situation on external markets, the forecasting of the federal budget’s tax revenues should be based on the maximally conservative forecast of the situation on external markets.
Secondly, starting from the year 2004, there has been a visible tendency towards increasing the share of federal budget expenditure as a percentage of GDP.
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2015 Fig. 1 The federal budget’s expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) * World Energy Outlook 2006. OECD/IEA, 2006.
* The forecast of the federal budget’s expenditure for 2008-10 is based on the Concept of the Long–Term Strategy for the Socio – Economic Development of the RF developed by the RF Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. The estimates are based on the assumption that the increase in government spending envisaged by the Concept should be covered at the expense of the federal budget. At the same time, the deficit of the Pension Fund should be covered by the revenues of the federal budget, and therefore the corresponding costs should be recognized as expenditures of the federal budget (until the oil and gas – related deficit of the federal budget will exceed 4.7% of GDP, starting from 2011) and of the Fund of National Wellbeing (if the oil and gas – related deficit exceeds 4.7%, starting from 2011).
Source: the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade; the IET’s estimates.
As is seen from the data presented in Figure 1, the federal budget’s expenditures have significantly grown by comparison with 2004 (15% of GDP). In 2007 they amounted to 18.1% of GDP. At the same time, the Concept of the Long-Term Strategy for the Socio–Economic Development of the RF, prepared by the RF Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, envisages a significant growth in expenditures on education, health care, fundamental research and assistance to scientific and technological progress, as well as on government investments and the coverage of the pension system’s deficit from the federal budget, so as to maintain the rate of replacement (the ratio between the average pension and the average wage) at the level of 30%. As a result, the expenditures of the federal budget can rise to 21.9% in the year 2020. It is apparent that such a considerable growth in the federal budget’s expenditures will not only prevent any lessening of the tax burden on the economy, but it can also require additional mobilization of the revenues.
Thus, the combination of the considerable instability of budget revenue caused by the fluctuations of external markets, coupled with a significant growth in budget expenditures, dictates the necessity to discontinue the policy of lessening the tax burden (it should be borne in mind that many of the spending obligations are long-term; they cannot be drastically reduced without increasing social tensions).
At the same time, the continuation of socio-economic transformations and Russia’s integration into the world economy is inevitable associated with the necessity to amend tax legislation. Therefore the main emphasis in reforming tax legislation must be laid on improving the quality of tax administering and on increasing the neutrality and effectiveness of the major taxes.
Summary of World Goods and Services Trade in and Prospects of Russia’s Foreign Trade Development A. Pakhomov In April 2008 the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO) published the analytical review of the results of the world trade development in 2007 and prospects for 2008. The document contains preliminary data for world goods and services trade over last year both by regions and by countries. According to the forecasts of the WTO the decrease in international trade growth rates down to 4.5% will be observed in 2008, which is the minimum level for last six years.
According to the WTO estimations the increase of the world trade in real terms reached 5.5% in (8.5% in 2006). Analysts of the WTO calculate the real growth of the trade, taking into account inflation in different countries and dynamics of currencies exchange rates on the basis of the data of UN statistics services and IMF, that is why nominal growth rates of goods export were 15% and of services export – 18%.It is Germany, China and the USA that are three leading exporting countries, their share in the world export being 9.5%, 8.8% and 8,4%, correspondingly. (More detailed information on ratings of leading goods and commercial services exporting and importing countries in 2007 is presented in the enclosed tables).
In 2007 the slow-down of the world economy growth rates (GDP) down to 3.4% occurred as compared with 3.7% a year ago. A considerable growth was demonstrated by the developing countries – about 7%, in Russia the GDP went up by 8%. This figure is nearly three times higher than the indices of countries with the developed economy.
According to the data of the UNCTAD, Russia holds the first place by the index of direct foreign investments volumes growth, which reached 70% in 2007. For the leading countries of Latin America, this figure is about 50%. As it is noted in the WTO review, Russia by its “high export earnings and growing investments” made a considerable contribution to the growth of the European economy. According to the WTO data Russia also holds the first place by import growth rates figure - 35%, which testifies the growing dependence of the country on import goods supplies.
World Trade 2007, Prospects for 2008: developing, transition economies cushion trade slowdown, WTO/PRESS/520/Rev.1, 17 April 2008, Geneva, ðð. 2,7.
According to the forecasts of the World Trade Organization the decrease of the international trade growth is to be expected in the current year down to the lowest over last six years level of no more than 4.5%. According to the WTO estimations, made on the basis of UN and IMF forecasts, active economic growth of the developing countries will enable to alleviate the consequences of the US and European economy development slow-down. In 2008 the economy of th developing countries will increase by 10%, of CIS countries – by 5%, the growth in the developed countries being expected at the level of 1.1%. On the whole the world economy growth rates are expected to be in the range from 2.5 to 3%. This trend is singled out as the key one and is cited in the headline of the WTO’s review – “Prospects for 2008: developing, transition economies cushion trade slowdown”.
In 2007 the share of the developing countries in the world trade was 34%. In the current year the trend is expected to sustain and more than the half of goods import will be accounted for by CIS countries. Prices remaining steadily high for their export goods and comparative independence from the markets of the developed countries will enable them to maintain high level of investments in their economy, consumer sector included, even under conditions of probable decrease in prices for raw materials in the second half of 2007.
The WTO analysts notice that it is difficult to make predictions as to the volume of trade in 2008 because financial market is unstable and growth prospects for the developed countries are becoming worse. The director-general of the WTO Pascal Lamy says, “ These are uncertain and troubling times for the global economy. To date, the financial market turmoil, significant price surges and the slow-down of developed economies have not led to a disruption of trade. But protectionist pressures are building as policymakers seek answers to the problems that confront us. More than ever we must reinforce our global trading system with rules that are more transparent, predictable and equitable.”According to the WTO rating, in concordance with the preliminary data the Russian Federation held the 12th place by the value volumes of goods export – USD 355 bln. At the same time the nominal rates of yearly export increase increased by 17%, real – by less than 6%, which is connected For instance with inflation growth and dollar exchange rate decrease. The share of Russia in the world export was equal to 2.6% (2.5% and 13th place in 2006).
By the value of import goods (USD 223 bln, growth rates of 35%) Russia rose to 16th place and its share in the total import reached1.6% (18th place in 2006 and 1.3%). As a result Russia holds the first place by the rates of import growth among the leading trading countries13. On the whole, not taking intraregional trade of 27 countries of the EU into account, Russia holds 7th place by goods export and 10th place by import.
In 2007 in the list of countries-suppliers of commercial services the Russian Federation again holds the 25th place (USD 38 bln, 25% growth rates), and its share by this index is 1.2% (26th place and 1.1% in 2006).
In the field of commercial services import (USD 44.3 bln, 15% growth rates), Russia rose to 16th place in the world and its share reached 1.9% (18th place and 1.7% correspondingly in 2006).
Table Dynamics of Russia Positions in WTO ratings and share of Russia in the World Goods and Services Trade in 200 and in 2005- 2000 2005 2006 Goods export 17;1.7 13;2.4 13;2.5 12;2.Goods import 29;0.7 19;1.2 18;1.3 16;1.Services export 31; 0.7 26;1.1 25;1.1 25;1.Services import 22;1.2 17;1.6 18;1.7 16;1.* the first number is the place in the rating, the second – share as percentage Source: WTO statistics over the corresponding years Despite steadily increasing dynamics of indices (table 1) that reflect quantitative growth of Russia’s foreign goods and services trade, Russia faces the problems that require new strategic approaches to foreign economic sphere development. In the middle of the current decade the Russian economy is confronted with long-term system challenges that reflect both worldwide trends and internal barriers for development14.
First, the trend for slowdown in foreign trade turnover, especially export, should be noted. For instance, it should be mentioned that in the analytical review of WTO for the results of 2007 Russian statistics data were used, which were calculated according to the balance-of-payments methodology and not on the basis of cus Ibidem, ð. Ibidem, ð. For more details see “Forecast for social and economic development of the Russian Federation for the period of 2020-2030. Chapter 2. Conditions for the development of the Russian Economy in Long-Term Outlook.
toms statistics, as earlier. As a result of final counts of the foreign trade balances in 2007, goods export in fact exceeds the data of the Federal Customs Service of Russia by 1%, and goods import – by 12%. Thus, if WTO rating used more traditional customs statistics, Russia’s ratings in 2008 would be unchanged both by export and import.
Second, middle-term forecasts unambiguously demonstrate the decrease in growth rates (down to negative) hydrocarbons production and export (firs of all, oil), which currently comprise two thirds of the Russian export. Growth of other goods and services export in future will not compensate the loss of earnings for Russia’s mineral resources used as power carriages export.
Third, recently the steady trend for anticipating import growth as compared to export was observed in Russia. On the whole, according to the WTO data, over 2000-2007 average yearly export growth was equal to 19%, and import growth – to 26%. At the same time further anticipating import development is expected, including investment and consumer goods.As a result, provided that this trend sustains over 2010, negative country’s trade balance is forecast, which will be completely new phenomenon for the modern period of the Russian history – last time when trade deficit was observed was in 1990. The trend mentioned in combination with other problem phenomena, including chronic shortage of services trade, can contribute into aggravation of situation with balance-ofpayments in the country.
Analysis of existing situation and development of measures to overcome negative trends comprise the project of the Concept for long-term social and economic development of the Russian Federation up to (hereafter referred to as the Project). The special section “Foreign economic policy” (FEP), where its aims and principles as well as priority directions, including geographical diversification of Russia’s foreign economic connections, are formulated, is devoted to this problem, including:
1. Strengthening and expansion of Russia’s presence at the world markets on the basis of realization of existing and creation of new comparative advantages;
2. Assistance to creation of global competence centers built in the worldwide added value production chains in processing industries;