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IRT's statement on Russia's accession to the WTO


16 Dec 2011


Trade & Society

On the 16th of December 2011, the WTO Ministerial Conference will examine and,

hopefully, approve Russia’s application for accession to the World Trade

Organization (WTO). After ratification of the necessary documents, the 18-years

negotiation process will be finished, and Russia may become a full WTO member

by summer 2012. During this process Russia developed a new market economy

and reinforced its cooperation with foreign partners, among which EU Member

States traditionally have a prominent place.

Since its establishment in 1997, the EU-Russia Industrialists Round Table (IRT)

has been actively supporting the application of Russia for WTO accession. This

endeavour has been pursued in the IRT Recommendations for the EU-Russia

summits, in contacts with the official representatives of the negotiating countries,

and in public statements made by the IRT and its members. We highly appreciate

the constructive position of the EU and Russian leaders, who over the years

demonstrated their willingness to take into account the priorities of business


Accession to the WTO opens new opportunities for EU-Russia economic

cooperation. Russia joins not only an international organization, but also the whole

range of norms and principles governing the legal framework and practical

mechanisms regulating foreign trade, protection of investor rights, settlement of

economic disputes and improvement of the business climate. Until recently, Russia

was the only major economy in the world, which was not able to take advantage of

these norms and principles, but this obstacle is to be removed tomorrow.

WTO membership will give an additional impetus to the further strengthening of

the economic ties between the EU and Russia. The IRT advocates for the mutual

reduction of barriers in technological, trade and investment cooperation. The IRT’s

strategic goal is to create an integrated EU-Russia common economic area, which

would combine the competitive advantages of the economies of our countries and

help them to succeed in the global competition. The IRT hopes that the further

steps in this direction will be made as early as in 2012.

EU-Russia Industrialists' Roundtable - EU Secretariat

c/o Kellen Europe

Avenue Jules Bordet 142

B-1140 Brussels

Phone: +32 2 761 1606

Fax: +32 2 761 1699


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