More specifically, WTO still retains its stance with regard a compulsory condition for Russia’s membership in the Organization: namely, the WTO’s requirement to raise domestic tariffs for energy sources up to the international level. At this point, the discussion did not focus on equalizing domestic and export Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Oct Oct Oct Oct Oct Oct Jan Jan Jan Jan Jan Jan Jan July July July July July July prices, but rather on transparency of pricing in the energy sector, while concrete figures associated with oil and gas prices were not debated at all.The Russian delegation’s stand on this particula matter remained unchanged: as energy issues do not fall within the WTO’s purview, Russia is not going to commit itself to any obligations in this area.
In addition to the bove, there remains unsolved the problem of customs tariffs on number of goods- cars, airplanes, furniture, pharmaceuticals, and subisidies to the agrarian sector: notbly enough, some WTO member nations demand to lower import duties for automobiles from the current 25 to 5% of their value.
The Russian side is hoping to complete negotiations on foreign companies’ accession to the national marjet for goods and services by 2003. Should it happen, Russia may join WTO as eraly as in 2004. So far, the task force should meet for the next round in October 2003.
It should be noted that Russia’s membership in WTO becomes an increasingly pressing matter. As in July WTO recognized illegal the US protective import duties imposed on steel in March 2002 (up to 30% applied to steel exports from a big group of nations, including Russia), the EU countries as memebers of the organization filed a claim against the US and promised to impose USD 2.2 bln. -worth duties on th US exports to EU.
Since the imposition of the noted protective duties, the US steel prices soared at more than 50%, which saved from bankruptcy many local companies nd enabled them to re-conquer up to 89% of thelocal steel market. Then the US made series of compromises to some countries, including Russia and crossed certain kinds of steel out of their ‘black list’, and since March 2003 the duties were consequently lowered to 24%.
Now, once the anti-dumping investigation is over, the WTO member nation can hope for a borader access to the US market. It is worth noting that the US metal consumers, more specifically, car manufacturers, are keen to have them on this market, as they are disssatisfied by a rapid price rise or metals. Nonetheless, the White House representatives have already stated that they, first, would appeal against the WTO’s ruling and, second, are not goin to lift the customs barriers until late 2003.
If WTO can successfully retain its official verdict, the US companies will prolongue the ‘steel prohibition’, aiming particularly att Russian exports, among others. In July, the US metal companies submitted to te Commission on International Trade their request to keep the respective protective measures for another 5 years. Should it be satisfied, some steel exporters, including Russia, would keep just a 1.5% share in the IS steel market. Contrast to China that has also fallen victum of the noted measures and holds its membership in WTO, Russia does not have any counter-measures and appeal to WTO.
The situation is aggravated by the very likely opening of the ‘second front’ against Russia in Europe, where a 25% customs duty on Russian metallurgical silicon exports became effective as of 12 July for the period of consequent 6 months. The national siliconproducers’ losses will amount to USD 20 mln., and that happened against the background of the US decision to close their silicon market for Russia in autumn 2002.
Clearly, these moves demostrate Russia’s discrimination, and it is only membership in WTO that will help the country protect itself.
In July, Moscow hosted a meeting of the CIS nations’ customs agencies. The customs representatives discussed an agreement on customs procedures of, and control over electricity supplies through customs borders within the CIS. As well, they greed on amendments o the Procedures of Identification of the Country of Origin of Goods approved yet in 2000 and discussed problems of interaction between the CIS customs agencies.
At its meeting in July, the Integration Committee of the Eurasian Economic Community (EEC) announced creation by 008 the Single Customs Zone. Such a union implies a unified customs territory and unification, or, at least, closeness of customs tariffs on external borders of the Commonwealth. In addition, under such a unified zone, imports from the third countries will be subject to a unified tariff rate. At present, the EEC members ave already introduced a free trade regime that embraces only the goods produced in its membership countries. As well, the Customs Union suggests to establish a single dministrative agency and budget basing on contributions from customs revenues.
In July, Russia’s Customs Committee decided to strengthen the customs control oer goods shipped by Belorussian cargo companies. In spring, the RF Customs Committee ruled an order ‘On delivery under the customs control of goods transported by Belorussian cargo companies’ that identified only 8 customs clearance and temporary cargo deposit points for cargo recipients located in central Russia. To fix certain terminals for certain cargo companies will allow a a stricter control over shipment of goods. Meanwhile, belorussian cargo delivery companies find themselves in a privileged position. It is not a secret that they try dumping and charge for a shipment of goods from Finland just USD 700 against 1,000 quoted by Russian companies, while their cargo delivery services from Germany to Moscow are at one-third cheaper than Russian ones. The Associateion of International Carriers believes that Belorussian companies hold a 48% share in the market of cargo transportation from the third countries to Russia.
As it was not enough, they also break record in terms of criminal activities: for instance, in 2002 alone over 30% of cargo delivery failires to Russia fell on Belorussioan companies, and RF customs authorities initiated over 200 investigations in this respect. They found it difficult to identify the Belorussian companies’ debt record, but proceeding from the average USD 20,000 in cutoms duties due from a truck, the overall debt would run up to some USD 400,000.
N. Volovik, N. Leonova The government policy in the area of renewal of the research staff structure.
The present review deals ith main challenges in the area of provision of science with staff and the governmental approaches to their solution that were noted in the first half 2003. The analysis was conducted in a comparative context with policies pursued by the nations that experience simialr problems related associated with a broken reproduction structure and ‘brain drain’. A special attention is paid to the draft federal targeted program ‘Research staff in RF’. In conclusion, the paper suggests guidlines of the government regulation of the situation with research staff.
The present problems of shortages of research staff in Russia are not formed just by their outflow but both by the ruined reproduction structure and a drastic aging of he research staff. While research institutions now serve mostly as ‘transit terminals’ for young staff, their average length of work there does not exceed 6-years. As a result, the proportional weightof middle-age researhesrs (between 30 to 40 years) declines, while the respective share of the staff aged over 60 tends to grow. Nowadays, the average researcher age is years, PhD=s - 53, and doctors of science-61 year, respectively.
The specificity of the brain-drain process is that the main group there is formed by young researcgers, which makes both the maintenance of the noted staff imbalance and ‘washing away’ the most gifted and promising researchers from the resecrh area. The survey on graduates form the Moscow Lomonosov Unersity conducted by the Center of Research and Statistics of Science in Octiber-November 002 showed that 35% of them were keen to proceed with research, however slightly 50% of the graduates planned to pursue their career in the country.
Yet another specificity of the current brain drain is an actual absence of the reverse flow. The most optimistic estimates show 10-15% of returned staff of the overall umber of emigrants, but, as a rule, they come back to pursue their career outside research area.
Recent research show that tody there are two main reasons undelying research emigration: low wages in the area andthe mismatch between obsolete research equipment and devices and modern research tasks;
interestingly, the significance of the latter factor has grown considerably when compared with the eraly amd mid-1990s. Indeed the current age of research equipment in Russia averages 17 years, hile in the developed countries- 7 years. Practically all researchers who happened to work abroad recognize a much higher technical level of foreign research centers11. it is not accidental then that the staff mobility in the Russin variant does not constitute organizational element of research when travels are determined by the logic of development of the given research underway. Rather, it is a recation to inadequate working conditions. This also forms the reason for maintenance of the same scope of so-called ‘pendilium’ migration. A poor technical provision of research both encourages brain drain and lower the competitiveness of those staying at home.
At the government level, the support of renewal of th equipmen research base is very poor, and today research institutions use mostly grants (primarily received from foreign sponsors) and contracts to purchase equipment. It was planned to allocate not less than 5% of the budget under item 06 ‘Fundamental research and promotion of the research and technical progress’ to develop the reseearch equipment base in 2003, however, the approved amount made up just 1.76%.
As concerns the staff policy of the state, the numer of initiatives grows constantly, however they embrace mostly ypung researchers (aged 33-35 years) and exist in the fomr of various small extra grants, bonuses, stipendia, etc. (usually not more than RUR 3,000 a month), which does not allow change of the overall See: Kugel, S. Mezhdunarodnaya migratsia uchenykh kak mechanism globalizatsii nauki i vysokikh tekhnologiy//Problemy deyatelnosti uchenogo i nauchnykh kollektivov. Spb, Gydrometeoizdat, 2002, p. 66.
situation. At the same time in 2003 the biggest bonuses and extra payments were allocated to full members and members by correspondence of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RUR 20,000 and 10,000, respectively). The respective funds were found in the cuntry’s budget for research and science. which cannot be reckoned about funding bonuse due for degrees, which were intended to grow as much as thrice fr researchers mployed in the public sector. Some research institutions suggest to their staff an alternative: to ensure the increased extra payments due, they would need either downsizing (and fire one-third of their research staff), or compel all the staff to work part-time.
Low basic salaries in the research area are pregnant both with undermining of the staff balance and more intense and systemic consequences. More specifically, it gives rise to so-called ‘research day-labor’,- that is, the situation when a researcher has to simultaneously contribute to several short-term (up to 1 year) projects, as it can ensure their wages. Such a work entails a lower research productivity, for he looses conditions for conducting a serious research. One of manifestations of this situation is the rise in the number of researchers that leave fundamental research in favor of one-day applied projects. An execssive focus on the latter appears dangerous, as it breaks the balance of reseearch on stages of the innovation cycle.
Meanwhile, the government developes a Concept of measures on maintaining staff capacity of the research complex and a draft Federal Targeted Program ‘Research Staff of the Russian Federation’ aimed at 2004-2009 and designated for laying down fundamentals for a unified staff reproduction system in th research area. It is intended to complete both documents by the end of 2003. The draft available today provides a formulation of a tactical task of the government staff policy in terms of ‘maintenance’ of the most productive staff, meeting young researchers’ needs and ‘reduction of their emigration or leving’ research for other areas. Hoever, certain forms and means of maintenance and reproduction of the research capacity sometimes appear prohibitive and restricting. For example, in order to fix research staff in Russia, it is proposed to ‘ strengthen conrol over implementation of international agreements on cooperation in the research and expert exchange area’ and ‘ensure a stage-by-stage introduction of a free post-graduate or doctorate education only in the event of the compulsory employment in the public sector of the economy for 5 years’12. The draft document suggests numerous forms of incentive payments, grants and bonuses for young researchers, as well as support of leading research institution and research stuff dealing with priority science and technical issues. It is also suggested a mortgage system for public science and technicl complex employees and an introduction of a civil servant status for researchers. At the same time, the document contains just a slight hint on the necessity of developing the material and technical base to be available only for the ‘leading national universities’, while it provides no criteria for identification of those, at least, at the onceptual level.