As a result of January-September 2007 it is Cyprus, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany that hold the leading positions as to the total volume of accumulated investments, their share being 71.3% (over 9 months of 2006 – 70.7%). At the same time the share of the leading five countries-investors in the segment of direct investments went up to 76.7% (January-September 2006 – 71.0%), in the structure of portfolio investments it increased to 51.3% (January-September 2006 – 46.5%), but decreased in the structure of other investments to 67.3% (January-September 2006 – 71.3%).
Against the background of vast expansion of foreign investments in the Russian economy the volume of withdrawn capital in the form of foreign investors’ profits transferred abroad as well as payment of interest rates for use of credits and credits repayment in January-September 2007 increased as compared with the corresponding period of 2006 by 36.1% and was equal to USD 39.8 bln. The same as in the previous year the biggest outflow of the capital was observed in 3 quarter 2007 (53.0% of the foreign investments received during this period). Over 9 months of 2006 82.8% of the foreign investments received were removed, in quarter 2006 the figure being 96.1%.
Foreign Trade N. Volovik In October 2007 export and import indices reached record-breaking level for the last 17 years. Export growth rates exceeded import growth rates for the first time over the year. At the same time the number of countries with which Russia has negative foreign trade balance is growing. Russia and Poland have signed memorandum that lifts a more than two-year ban for Polish meat import in Russia.
In October 2007 Russia’s foreign trade turnover reached record-breaking value of USD 56.8 bln. October cost indices of both import and export supplies were the highest for the last 17 years.
In October 2006 value volume of export exceeded the corresponding figure of 2006 by 39.5% and reached USD 34.8 bln. In October annual growth rates of export exceeded import growth rates for the first time in 2007, import being equal to USD 22 bln and having increased by 37.8%.
In October 2007 foreign trade surplus of the Russian Federation was positive and equal to USD 12.bln, exceeding the corresponding figure of 2006 by 42.4%. For the first time over the year the growth of foreign trade surplus has been observed as compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
Such a high export index in October is accounted for by exceptionally high prices for oil. In October average monthly price for oil grade Brent was equal to USD 81.41 per barrel, which is 7.25% higher than in September 2007 and 40.6% higher than in October 2006. Such a situation at the market was cased by the shortage of crude oil and furnace fuel in the USA as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. Thus before beginning of the winter crude oil reserves in the USA are below the last year’s by nearly 4%, and the reserves of furnace fuel are below their last year’s level by 26.5%. Decrease in the US dollar exchange rate also contributed to the growth of oil quotation.
Average price for oil grade Urals in October was equal to USD 79.6 per barrel, having increased by 44.5% as compared with the level of October 2006 and by 7.9% - with the level of September 2007.
Prices for petrol at the world market have increased by 5.39% as compared with the previous month and by 43.5% as compared with October 2006.
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Balance Export Import Figure 1.Main Indices of Russia’s Foreign Trade (as USD billion) Source: Central Bank of the Russian Federation Prices for natural gas as compared with the previous month increased by 15.72%.
In October 2007 aluminum rose in price by 2.05% as compared with the previous month and became by 8.2% cheaper as compared with October of last year. Copper grew in price by 4,6% in October 2007 as compared with the previous month, nickel became more expensive by 4.7% as compared with September 2007. Growth of prices for non-ferrous metals is connected with reduction in stocks reserves.
Table Average Monthly Prices in October of the Corresponding Year 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Oil grade Brent, as USD 17.9 12.8 24.1 32.14 21.45 27.2 29.6 49.8 58.2 57.9 81.per barrel Natural gas, as USD per 1 2.346 2.205 2.558 5.767 2.649 4.144 5.162 7.7 12.2 12.76 7.mln BTU Gasoline, as USD per 0.569 0.421 0.699 0.895 0.603 0.801 0.841 1.43 2.056 1.484 2.gallon Copper, as 1900.7 1659.2 1748.1 1838.6 1405.1 1519.0 1916.4 3012.0 4060 7500 USD per ton Aluminum, as 1538.5 1354.2 1470.7 1473.5 1280.8 1313.2 1474.8 1822.8 1929 2659 USD per ton Nickel, as 6240.5 4262.4 7984.2 7353.2 4836.8 6840.9 11030 14483 12403 32348 USD per ton Source: calculated on the basis of London Metal Exchange, International Oil Exchange, London Main factors that account for import growth were high growth rates of the Russian economy, growth of population income, continuous ruble appreciation. According to the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade of the Russian Federation appreciation of ruble exchange rate against dollar in real terms was equal to 11.6% over January-October 2007. Appreciation of ruble exchange rate against euro in real terms was 4.9%, against pound of sterling – 10.2%.
Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma J an J an J an J an J an J an J an J an Sep Sep Sep Sep Sep Sep Sep Sep In the second half of the year the role of price factor become more significant, prices for foodstuffs and agriculture raw materials import for instance increased.
Over January-October Russian export increased by 12.7% up to the level of USD 280.4 bln, and import – by 36.5% up to USD 175.5 bln. Positive Russia’s foreign trade balance in January-October 2007 reduced down to USD 104.9 bln as compared with USD 120.1 bln a year ago.
The question of how long under existing trades for export and import development positive balance of the foreign trade can be maintained remains exceptionally important for estimation of further development of the Russian economy.
In medium-term run there is a possibility of sustention of export excess over import. A number of conditions should however be fulfilled for this. First, the factor of importance is the situation at the world trade markets. Continuous growth of prices for oil, metals, raw materials for chemistry production and wood allows counting upon the growth of export of raw materials value volumes despite stagnation in physical volumes of importing goods. Second, exhausting of possibilities of production and technological base that was created in the territory of the CIS countries during Soviet times creates opportunities to increase export of processing industries to these countries. Third, intensification of struggle against inaccurate customs declaration of a number of goods in 2007 can case the slow-down of import value volumes growth rates by these items in 2008-2009.
In January-October 2007 in geographical structure of Russia’s foreign trade countries that are members of the European Union still prevailed. The volume of foreign trade turnover with this group of countries increased as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year by 15.6% and was equal to USD 224.6 bln. At the same time export went up by 6.7%, and import - by 42.8%. The share of EU countries in foreign trade turnover decreased as compared with January-October 2006 by 3.4 percentage points and was equal to 51.6%.
Second place by the volume of foreign trade turnover is held by the countries of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation zone, whose share in foreign trade turnover as a result of January-October 2007 increased up to 19.2% (growth by 2.4 per cent) and was equal to USD 83.6 bln. Increase in volume was equal to 40.9% in foreign trade turnover, being 16.6% by export and 64.2% - by import.
The share of CIS countries in foreign trade turnover was equal to 15.2%, increase in volumes in JanuaryOctober 2007 being, correspondingly, 25.4%, 20.3%, 35.4%.
The number of countries with which Russia has negative foreign trade balance by import and export goods is increasing. Whereas in January-October there were 19 such countries, in January-October there number increased up to 24.
It is with Germany, the USA and China that export and import ratio changed especially sharply. In the first 10 months of 2006 Russia had steady positive balance and in 2007 it became negative.
The growth of trade turnover with China occurred due to increase of machinery, equipment and transport vehicles, textile, clothing and footwear import that make up about 70% of import into Russia from this country.
Analysis of contemporary structure of Russia-American trade testifies its goods misbalance. It is oil and oil products (52.3%), aluminum and goods thereof (11.7%), ferrous metals (7.3%) and inorganic chemistry production (7%) that prevail in export from Russia. Machinery, equipment and transport vehicles constitute only 12% of the export. Among other export goods major positions are held by uranium, platinum, nickel as well as clothing goods and fish products.
In import from the USA into Russia it is traditionally different kinds of machines and equipment (oil and gas equipment, planes, electric equipment, optical and measure tools, medicinal equipment) as well as grain and meat products that prevail. Thus, in Russian export to the USA it is the raw materials that prevail, the share of finished goods being small, while it is technology and food that prevail in import.
The most unexpected was the negative trade balance with Germany. Russian oil and gas are intensively supplied to this country. Partially negative trade balance with this country is accounted for by the fact that at the beginning of 2007 there was a drop in oil prices. Moreover last warm winter but the main reason is a sharp growth (44.5%) of import supplies from Germany. It is machine tools, equipment and transport vehicles that are imported from this country.
On 19 December 2007 representatives of Russia and Poland signed a memorandum that lifts more than a two-year ban for Polish meat import in Russia.
Corresponding document was prepared together by Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision Service and Veterinary Service of Poland. Polish party guarantees that qualitative production of Polish origin will be supplied to Russia and that there will be no import from other countries in Russia through Poland.
Limitations for import of meat from Poland were introduced by Russia in November 2005. Embargo concerned raw meat, used for food production. There were two main reasons for embargo. First, several consignments of meat from other countries that were transported as transit goods through Poland Russian veterinary doctors considered as not meeting the sanitary norms. Polish side gave official explanation: according to trade rules between EU countries Polish authorities check sanitary certificates only for import of products from another EU country and not for export. That is the reason why from the point of view of Warsaw Polish sanitary authorities did not violate international norms. Russia required the products to be checked while exporting from Poland. However Poland did not do it out of principle, conducting, however, prosecutor check-ups concerning falsification of documents for meat in its territory.
Second reason for embargo was discovery in Russian shops of pork and beef liver of the sorts initially aimed for production of food for cats and dogs. For these claims Poland responded that it is not responsible for its meat that is supplied to Russia through Moldova and the Ukraine.
These explanations did not satisfy Moscow and in November 2006 the relationships between two countries became even tenser. As a result Poland banned the negotiations on new basic agreement between the Russian Federation and the European Union, whose validation period is coming to the end in December 2007, connecting it with the lift of the ban for meat import by Russia. Besides, Poland claimed that Russia’s obstinacy will cost it negotiations on admission to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. It is possible to begin these negotiations only on condition of all member-countries being consent.
Then Warsaw declared that it will ban Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization.
As a result of parliamentary elections in October 2007 new government presided by Donald Tousk has come to the power and the situation started changing. The new Minister of Agriculture Marek Savitski immediately after being appointed declared that he is going to solve the “meat problem” with Russia “without political prejudices”.
Lift of the ban will allow beginning of negotiations on signing new Agreement on strategic partnership between Russia and the EU. Poland does not have intention of blocking negotiations on Russia’s accession to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.
Results of Special Economic Zones Operation in I. Sokolov There have already passed two years since regulatory documents concerning creation of the first special economic zones (SEZ) were signed. Whereas 2006 was primarily devoted to the regulation of administrative and organizational issues of creation of two industrial and production and four technology and innovation zones, beginning of construction of engineering, transport and communication infrastructure construction in them, selection of the first residents, in 2007 the nature of production and investment activity of the zones started to outline more distinctly, which allows drawing first conclusions and estimating middle-terms prospects for SEZ operation.
The first Federal Law No 116-ФЗ “On special economic zones in the Russian Federation” was adopted in Russia in July 2005, and in December of the same year, that is two years ago, the first results of contest of the applications submitted were analyzed. According to the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation 4 technology and innovation zones were created (Moscow (Zelenograd), Moscow region (Dubna), Saint-Petersburg, Tomsk) and 2 industrial and production zones (Lipetsk oblast, Tatarstan (Alabuga)) were created. It should however be noted that due to the absence of complex program documents that identify the main directions of innovation and industrial activity of the policy of the Russian Federation for a long run, the kinds of activities whose development stimulation should be carried out within these zones, according to the point of view of the Government, were not defined legally.
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