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As concerns the attracted foreign investment in per capita terms (see Table 2), in the 1st quarter of the Nenets AO retained its position as the absolute leader, and its lead over other regions was almost the same as in 2002 on the whole. The rest leading regions mainly retained their positions, although some of them changed places (as compared with 2002, Tatarstan and the Krasnodar krai are out of the list, while there were included the Leningrad, Samara, and Novgorod oblasts). In terms of per capita amounts of foreign direct investment, the first five regions retained their positions (the Nenets AO, the Sakhalin oblast, the Yamal Nenets AO, the city of Moscow, and the Moscow oblast), however, on the whole the ratio between regions in terms of the amounts of attracted foreign direct investment is less stable than in terms of the total foreign investment.

In the 1st quarter of 2003, Moscow retains its leading position in terms of its share in the total amount of foreign investment in fixed assets, and is closely followed by the Yamal Nenets AO (see Table 3). At the same time, while in Yamal the role of budgetary financing is very insignificant (only 3 per cent), in Moscow the share of funds provided from the Moscow budget makes more than half of all investment in fixed assets (52.7 per cent), while internal funds of enterprises account for only one fifth of the total investment (20.1 per cent), what is one of the lowest indicators among Russias regions.

Table Regions leading in terms of attracted foreign investment in fixed assets in the 1st quarter of RF subjects Share in the all- RF subjects Per capita Russian amount of investment, Rub.

investment, % thous. per person City of Moscow 11,65 Nenets AO 75,Yamal Nenets AO 10,32 Yamal Nenets AO 60,Khanty Mansi AO 9,45 Khanty Mansi AO 19,City of St. Petersburg 5,13 Chukotka AO 14,Moscow oblast 4,63 Sakhalin oblast 14,Krasnodar krai 2,90 Evenk AO 11,Sakhalin oblast 2,73 Rep. of Sakha (Yakutia) 4,Sverdlovsk oblast 2,43 Tomsk oblast 4,Rep. of Tatarstan 2,23 City of Moscow 4,Rep. of Bashkortostan 2,13 Amur oblast 3,Samara oblast 2,06 Rep. of Komi 3,Nizhni Novgorod oblast 1,90 City of St. Petersburg 3,Perm oblast 1,89 Leningrad oblast 3,Leningrad oblast 1,70 Kaliningrad oblast 2,Chelyabinsk oblast 1,70 Khabarovsk krai 2,Tomsk oblast 1,63 Taimyr AO 2,Rep. of Sakha (Yakutia) 1,Moscow oblast 2,Vologda oblast 2, Note: the table includes the regions, whose share in the investment in fixed assets makes more than 1.5 per cent and per capita investment in fixed assets exceeds the average regional indicator (Rub. 2.1 thous. per person).

In the 1st quarter of 2003, the total amount of investment fixed assets in Russia made 110.2 per cent of the level registered in the 1st quarter of 2002. In the overwhelming majority of regions there was observed positive dynamics of investment attraction, however, in 25 regions the amounts of investment in fixed assets declined. The most significant downfall, as well as the most considerable increase in investment was registered in scarcely populated national autonomies. In the Chukotka AO, investment grew 7.9 time, in the Evenk AO 4.9 times; naturally, in both cases such growth resulted from the attraction of extra-budgetary funds; the share of internal funds of enterprises and organizations in the Evenk AO made 0.2 per cent, in the Chukotka AO 1.3 per cent (these figures may be considered as apparent characteristics of the phenomenon of regions-corporations).

Among the regions demonstrating most rapid rates of growth (1.5 times and over) in investment in fixed assets (in the 1st quarter of 2003 as compared with the figures registered in the respective period of the preceding year), there are rather many regions situated in Central Russia, which include the Ivanovo, Tambov, Tula, and Moscow oblasts (most probably, in this case to some extent it is the effect of their favorable geographical location, at the same time, Moscow accounts for a rather modest increase in investment only 3.1 per cent). The list of leaders in terms of rates of growth in investment includes the Leningrad oblast and the city of St. Petersburg (apparently, in the latter case there may be perceived the effects of the growth in the share of federal investment 16.2 per cent in the 1st quarter of 2003 as compared with 3.2 per cent registered in the 1st quarter of 2002), raw materials regions the Sakhalin oblast, the Yamal Nenets AO, as well as the Chita oblast and Mordovia. The investment in the Kaliningrad oblast increased more than twofold (the specific feature of this region is a highest share in investment of internal funds of enterprises and organizations in fixed assets 84.6 per cent, and, therefore, the regime of special economic zone continues to play its positive role).

However, as concerns federal okrugs, the leader in terms of rates of growth in investment is the Far East okrug. (there was registered an increase in investment by 52.9 per cent). Not only the Sakhalin oblast, but also the Amur oblast (an increase in investment 2.5 times) made a significant contribution in this growth, while a downfall in investment in the Far East was registered only in the Primorski krai. The North West federal okrug closely followed the leader (a growth by 47.2 per cent), while the rates of increase in investment in the Siberian federal okrug (27.0 per cent) were significantly above the national average. In the Central federal okrug the rates of growth in investment were rather close to the national average (10.7 per cent), while the Ural and Privolzhski federal okrugs demonstrated more modest rates of increase in investment (5.6 per cent and 4.0 per cent respectively). The least favorable situation was observed in the Southern federal okrug, where there was registered a decline in investment in fixed assets by 7.4 per cent (the amount of investment grew only in 4 regions of Southern Russia out of 12), Kalmykia and Dagestan accounted for the most significant downfall in investment by 61,8 per cent and 24.6 per cent respectively).

O. Kuznetsova Foreign Trade In April of 2003, the foreign trade turnover increased by 9.2 per cent, including exports by 5.0 per cent and imports by 11.7 per cent as compared with the figures registered in the preceding month. In April, exports made US $ 9.876 billion, while imports made US $ 5.733 billion. As compared with the figures registered in the respective period of the preceding year, the foreign trade turnover decreased by 3.7 per cent and made US $ 4.143 billion.

Figure 1. ain indicators of Russias foreign trade (in US $ bln.) -1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 Source: RF Goskomstat In April of this year, the situation on the world commodity markets sharply deteriorated for Russian exporters as compared with the preceding month the world prices of staple Russian exports decreased by 10.1 per cent on the average. The world price of oil (Urals) decreased by 21 per cent as compared with the level registered in March of 2003 to Us 22.8 per barrel. On the average, prices of oil products declined by 24.8 per cent, while the price of diesel fuel decreased by 28.6 per cent, gasoline by 27.1 per cent, furnace oil by 13.5 per cent.

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In order to stabilize the world oil market for the period of the seasonal slump in demand for energy resources, on April 24 of 2003, the extraordinary OPEC session took the decision to reduce oil extraction by 2 million barrels per day since June 1.

In April of 2003, there was observed a certain increase in prices on the market of ferrous metals. For instance, on the European market the average monthly prices of staple types of solid rolled shapes increased by 6 per cent, while the prices of major types of sheet rolled products grew by 1 per cent as compared with the figures registered in March of 2003. Natural gas prices grew by 7.8 per cent, while the prices of nonferrous metals decreased (aluminum by 4.3 per cent, copper by 4.9 per cent, nickel by 5.8 per cent).

However, evaluating the general situation, it shall be noted that the business situation in April of 2003 was better for Russian exporters than in April of 2002.

Table 1.

The average monthly world prices in April of the respective year 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 Oil (Brent), USD / metric ton 155,2 125,38 101,36 114,43 167,2 191,2 187,9 180,Natural gas, USD / thous. m3 - 70,2 91,0 78,1 109,0 185,7 121,7 192,Gasoline, USD / metric ton 252,5 162,4 135,1 139,7 288,5 356,9 290,9 305,Copper, USD / metric ton 2574,9 2369,7 1775,3 1539,9 1710,1 1689,4 1620,8 1598,Aluminum, USD / metric ton 1590,2 1554,0 1413,5 1318,0 1448,0 1493,7 1370,3 1332,Nickel, USD / metric ton 8053,9 7312,.4 5352,5 5239,5 9657,1 6303,1 6940,6 7915,Source: calculated in accordance to the data presented by London Metal Exchange (UK), International Oil Exchange (London) In April of 2003, exports diminished by 12.6 per cent in comparison with the figures registered in the preceding month due to the decline in the amounts of export of energy resources. Import remained at the practically same level as in the preceding month (an increase by 1 per cent).

In January through April of 2003, as compared with the figures observed in the respective period of the preceding year, there took place an improvement of conditions of Russias trade vis--vis foreign countries (the ratio between the export and import price indices) resulting from a considerable rise in prices of the staple Russian exports as compared with the increase in prices of imported goods.

In April of 2003, the amount of Russias trade vis--vis CIS member countries made US $ 2.87 billion, at the same time, exports grew by 33.6 per cent as compared with the figures registered in the respective period of the preceding year and made US $ 1.72 billion, while imports grew by only 12.9 per cent in comparison with the last April figures and made US $ 1.15 billion.

As concerns the sphere of food imports, which made one fifth of the total volume of products imported from CIS countries, it shall be noted that the volumes of import of sunflower oil fell dramatically. Thus, in April of 2003, the volume of import of this product made 6.5 thousand metric tons, what was 1.5 times below the indicators observed this March and 3 times less than in April of 2002. As before, the major importer of sunflower oil to Russia remains Ukraine. At the same time, the export of sunflower oil from Russia also decreased to 8.1 thousand metric tons, what was by 19 per cent below the figures registered in March of 2003. However, this volume was almost two times above the volume exported in April of 2002.

Kazakhstan is one of the major importers of Russian sunflower oil, which this month imported 2.7 thousand metric tons of sunflower oil.

This June, representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belorussia discussed the progress of elaboration of the concept of the common economic space for these four countries. The participants of the meeting focused on the analysis of harmonization of national legislation building the basis for the further work on economic unification. Experts presented reports on the benefits each country will have after creation of the common economic space. At the first stage of establishment of the new economic union it is planned to introduce the single tariff system for the whole territory of these countries. At the second stage of unification it is planned to transit to the common customs union, where there will be introduced unified customs tariffs.

At the same time, the member countries of another integration association the Eurasian Economic Community held the meeting of the Integration committee, where there were discussed the priority avenues of the EvrAzES development in 2003 through 2006, the mechanism of protection of domestic markets of the Community member states in the situation where special protective, antidumping, and countervailing measures are not applicable to the sphere of mutual trade, as well as issues pertaining to formation of the common customs tariff.

There was continued the work on creation of a legislative base permitting to protect domestic producers from unfair competition on the part of foreign partners. The RF State Duma passed in the second reading the bill On special protective, antidumping, and countervailing customs duties on imported goods at its meeting held on June 18, 2003.

The draft law vests the Government with the right to introduce preliminary special duties on imported goods, as well as antidumping and countervailing duties. The document does not regulate relations concerning rendering of services and granting of exclusive rights for objects of intellectual property, as well as investment and foreign currency controls.

Any introduction of a special protective, antidumping, or countervailing measure in relation to import of goods shall be preceded by an investigation aimed at the evaluation of the damage suffered by the Russian economy. The investigation may be initiated basin o applications submitted by domestic producers of competing goods or by an association of Russian producers. The application shall be supplemented with evidence proving that Russian producers have suffered certain losses.

In contradistinction to the law currently in force, the new law shall primarily contain stipulations of direct operation, while the procedures governing investigations became more ordered and transparent. The terms of investigations have been limited, the list of documents to be submitted prior to the investigation is exhaustive. There has been introduced exceptions in the provision according to which it had been necessary to present a joint application of companies together producing more than 51 per cent of goods in order to start the investigation. Now, for the industries where the share of small businesses is high (for instance, agriculture), it is sufficient to submit an application singed by several companies.

At present, the government does not often uses its right to protect domestic producers. On the whole, this year there were carried out about 10 investigations, less than half of which resulted in the introduction of protective measures. After the bill is passed into law, there number of investigations bringing positive results should increase.

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