With the rise in the population’s incomes, it has started to spend more - an intense rise in retail trade was accompanied with certain shifts in the structure of demand of the population. In contrast to the prior year, practically the whole rise in goods turnover was ensured by the expanding sales of food Iiq Ivq II q II q II q III q III q III q IVq IV q 1999/Iq 2002/Iq 2000/I q 2001/I q stuffs. With the rise in retail trade turnover at 8.4% compared wit the 1st half 001, the increment in food sales accounted for 9.8%, while the one in sales of non-food goods - for 7.1%. The change in consumer behavior is explained by structural shifts across main tradable groups. Overall, in the Ist half 2002 consumer prices grew by 9.0% vs. 12.7% reported over the 1st half 2001. Against the background of the general trend to slowdown of inflation, the prices for food stuffs have grown by 7.3% since early 2002, while those for non-food goods- by 5.9%. It is worth noting that with the current level of income the rise in spending on food stuffs stimulated the development of trends to formation of delayed demand for durables and led to maintenance of the current level and dynamics of the population’s spending.
The renewal of consumer demand can be viewed as a factor that compensates for the slowdown in investment demand growth rate in early 2002. When compared with the Ist half 001, the share of investment in GDP dropped nearly by 2 percentage points and roughly accounted for 12.5%. This year, the fall in investment demand was reported by 4 federal Super-regions, while the Central and Ural Super-regions reported investment activity roughly remained unchanged, and the Far-Eastern Super- region being the only one where the rise in investment was bigger than the average index nationwide. It can be attributed chiefly to the increment in investment in Sakhalin oblast nearly 1.times.
FIG.Change in dynamics of industrial output, investment in capital assets and retail trade turnover in the Ist half 2002, as % to the respective period of the prior year ---Industrial output Investm ent in capital assets Retain trade turnover It should be noted that influenced the rising investment activity, in the IInd quarter the trend to expansion of final demand has gained a steady pace. The rise in investment demand in the IInd quarter also embraced construction works and investment in machinery and equipment. At the same time, against the background formed by stagnation in the machine-engineering sector, the demand for machinery and equipment was at 22.7% covered by import supplies.
One of main factors limiting investment activity between the IInd half 2001 through the 1st half 2002 appeared a steady decline in production profitability rates. Between January to May 2002 the balance financial result of large and medium-sized entities of all the sectors slid by 36.7% to Ist respective level of the prior year, including by 45.4% across the industrial sector. The fall in profitability rate in the latter was affected by a drop in profitability rate of export operations, rise in production costs, particularly including the advanced rise for costs of fuel, electricity and salaries and ages. When compared with the Ist quarter 2001, the share of gross profit in GDP slid by 1.percentage points, while the share of employees’ salaries and wages grew by 2.5 percentage points.
The emergence of this particular trend against the background of the drop in productivity rate has an inhibiting impact on the level of business activity.
O. Izryadnova l t n n n a al r r ga RF l ia es er t U o her s W ent V ber a ut C ho t E Si r S No Far The new guidelines for the government innovation policy in the high-tech area.
This paper reviews new approaches towards development of innovation activity and casting of a national innovation system proposed at the governmental level in the first half 2002. The paper also contains an analysis of amendments in law planned in the framework of basic guidelines of the government innovation policy that is to be finalized shortly. The paper focuses on the issue of venture funding and regulation of property rights on objects of intellectual property. In conclusion, the paper describes initial practical measures aimed at implementation of the proposed policy After a regular reshuffle in the Ministry of Industry and Science (MIS) in late October 2001, the first half 2002 witnessed more vigorous attempts of the government to provide support to high-tech businesses and establishment of favorable conditions for emergence of innovation activity.
The transition towards an innovation path of development and emergence of the national innovation system were declared priority directions in the sphere of science and technology. This was emphasized in “The Guidelines for the Policy of the Russian Federation in the Area of Development of Science and Technologies over the Period until 2010 and Henceforward” (“Guidelines”). The document was approved at the joint meeting of the RF Security Council and the Presidium of the State Council of RF held on March 20, 2002. So, the Guidelines has become a principal strategic document for the sector concerned.
Proceeding from the Guidelines, MIS developed “Basic Guidelines for the State Innovation Policy in the Research and Technical and Production and Technical Spheres until 2006”. The draft document was developed in June 2002, along with the respective action plan for the period between through 2003. The action plan comprises 3 blocs of objectives aimed at creation, strengthening and development of the national innovation system links, ensuring harmonization between the links, and proving for necessary conditions of operations of the national innovation system as a whole and realization of its competitive advantages.
Despite the fact that the government declared creation of a national innovation system as its strategic purpose yet in 1997, there has not been any visible progress on the issue as yet. Certain elements of the innovation infrastructure were developed with a greater or smaller success, and they centered on a direct support of small innovation businesses in the form of innovation and technology centers and technoparks. At the same time the organizational and institutional structure of science - that is the sphere that to a significant extent forms the sources of technological innovations - remained unchanged which has formed an obstacle to any innovation. At the same time there has been no measures developed to encourage industrial enterprises and potential investors to develop innovation policies. As a result, there has been no connection between research entities, small innovation firms and the industrial sector as major links of an innovation system, and, consequently, though growing over the past two years, the proportion of innovation-active enterprises has remained on a low level accounting for 10.6% of the overall number of large and small industrial enterprises5.
So, what was in principle new in the proposals of the first half 2002 Which practical steps were taken in this respect It is planned to center the government’s efforts on tackling 3 issues: the use of budgetary funding as a catalyst to attract private capital in the research and innovation sphere; to ensure structural reorganization of the science and technology sphere by means of inventory of public property and assigning it, under certain conditions, to more efficient owners; staff training for the scienceintensive sector, including both innovation managers and modern technological personnel - technologists, constructors, and business administrators.
Realization of each of the objectives requires particularly improvement of the current law in the respective areas.
That is why MIS paid a special attention to the problem of development of the legislative base of innovation activity. It should be noted that there is no special law on that, which would introduce basic terminology and a concept of this specific sphere, nor there are any principles of government regulation of innovation activities. The State Duma has been considering the bill “On innovation activity and the government innovation policy” for nearly 2 years. The bill passed three readings, Nauka Rossii v tsifrakh-2001. Statistichesky sbornik. M., TSISN, 2001, p.however, it was consequently declined by Acting President of RF and eventually withdrawn from the Duma’s agenda on June 21, 2001 on the grounds that it suffered the lack of a clear concept of the object of regulation, conflicted with the Budget Code of RF, and a number of its provisions were found merely declarative. The have not been any attempts to improve the bill hence. In May 2002 the question was put on the government level as to whether the nation was in need in a federal law on innovation activity. MIS’s stance on the issue is that one should not develop a new draft law, - rather, one should introduce necessary amendments to the current law instead, primarily in the Budget Code, Tax Code, Civil Code, and other legal acts and statutes. This very approach should allow incorporating the science and technology policy into the overall economic policy, thus helping a systematic emergence of a favorable economic environment for innovation activity and commercialization of technologies.
These days, the term “innovation activity” can be found in in numerous legal documents, however, they all interpret it in different ways. As to venture activity as one of mechanisms of innovation development, there has not been any legal definition of this concept as yet. Interestingly, venture investment was named among key directions of the government support. Indeed, ensuring support of risky projects and particularly those in the high-tech area, venture financing increasing plays an important role in foreign economies. As acceleration of the pace of creation of new technologies forms a crucial trend on the modern stage of development, it is venture financing that allows estimation of a market potential of new designs at their early stage. The development of venture financing ensure appearance of applied results at the moment the economic need in them arises. There is a special term for this phenomenon - “just in-time knowledge”6.
In Russia, the first venture innovation fund (VIF) was established in 2000. The government contributed to it by investing Rb. 100 mln. allocated from the funds of the Russian Fund for Technological Development (RFTD). According to the pre-set procedures, VIF should allocate funds to regional venture funds to be established with its participation, so that the ratio of their won resources and those earmarked from VIF should account roughly for 1:2. However, both VIF’s operations and the process of establishing the regional funds took a slower pace than initially planned.
It was only in October 2001 when three first regional funds were established - in Moscow, Dubna and Tomsk. The main reasons for such a situation are the lack of the respective developed economic infrastructure, qualified experts and managers in this area, and the respective legislation.
In the meantime the Russian law also lacks legal acts regulating operations of venture funds and does not allow the structures that are key investors in venture business worldwide - that is domestic pension funds, insurance companies, and industrial corporations - to invest in venture funds. As a result, so far it was foreign capital which major hopes were laid upon, while the national capital still flies abroad. Consequently, the passive attitude on the part of the domestic capital encourage foreign investors’ concerns about Russia. It is planned to develop the respective statutes by mid-2003. Such legal acts would allow pension funds, insurance companies and commercial banks to participate in venture funds. In addition, the said acts should comprise procedures of joint participation in venture funds of private investors and state-owned companies that allocate funds out of budget and off-budget sources.
As far as improvement of the respective law is concerned, it is development of the legal regulation in the area of protection of intellectual property rights which was identified among key priorities. The amendments to the Patent Law have been discussed over the last 1.5 years, however, the legislature have failed to pass them. Debates centered on the problem of property rights for intellectual property that was created earlier and is created now at the expense of government funds. Obviously the most of intellectual property in the country was developed in this specific way, as the share of the government budget in funding developments still is well over the overall amount of expenditures on civil research.
Today, the main gaps and conflicts in the area of regulation of intellectual property rights embraces the following major issues7 :
Globalnye anticrisisnye technologii//Expert, # 21, 3 June 200, p. Pravovye mechanizmy oborota intellectualnoy sobstvennosti - gosudarstvennyi podkhod k modenizatsii ekonomiki. Analiticheskyi obzor Informatsionnon-analyticheskogo upravlnia Apparata Soveta Federatsii Federalnogo Sobrania RF// Materialy k parlamentskim slushaniyam. M, 21 March 2002.
• underdeveloped law on property rights for the objects of intellectual (industrial) property that were and are created at the government expense,- due to the absence of the respective agent that could resolve problems of managing, on behalf of the government, those exclusive rights for elaborations that it financed or is going to get to the production stage;
• the absence of laws on “office-made” inventions, secret inventions, and commercial secret, which does not allow to separate an inventor’s rights, those of organization he is affiliated with, and the customer who ordered it (including particularly the government acting in this capacity);
• Unresolved problem of export-import of intellectual property rights, as this concept has not been yet introduced as a specific kind of good to the customs and forex legislation.
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