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WTO membership win-win step for Russia, world

By Zheng Haoning (Xinhua)

15:09, August 22, 2012

MOSCOW, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- After 18 years of pursuit, Russia became the 156th member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Wednesday, which will yield win-win results for both Russia and the world.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and one of the Group of Eight (G8) leading countries, Russia was the last major economy to enter the global trade group.

Although many Russians claim that the accession will hurt sectors of the domestic economy and even undermine national sovereignty and security, the entry will benefit Russia, which started its marathon bid in 1993.

In the short term, Russia is not likely to get immediate benefits from the accession and certain sectors of the economy may suffer pains as the country has to gradually lower its average tariff ceilings. Its budget revenues could also see a considerable drop as some experts have estimated.

But in the long run, Russia's WTO entry will elevate its all-round economic competitiveness, facilitate its economic restructuring and transformation of growth patterns, and ultimately realize its ambition of ascending to one of the world's top five economies.

The accession is also expected to help attract more foreign capital and advanced technology to Russia, boost its trade and investment, promote industrial reform, and accelerate the formation of a transparent and open market environment.

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