Russia’s New Horizons
Pavilion 4, Conference Hall 4.1

Accession to the WTO may be the single most important step towards enhancing Russia’s economic competitiveness since its founding. However, many challenges must still be overcome – including modernizing equipment, raising productivity, absorbing high energy inputs and social costs, and shifting up the value chain with more knowledge-intensive industries – in order to put Russian industrial production on a globally competitive footing. How might WTO accession and other key factors drive increased industrial competitiveness and productivity? What can be done to make these necessary structural changes palatable for the Russian workforce? What are the benefits of Russia’s WTO accession for foreign companies?

Kirill Androsov , Managing Director, Altera Investment Fund; Chairman of the Board of Directors, Aeroflot

Andrei Belousov , Aide to the President of the Russian Federation
Alexey Repik , President, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia)
Oleg Deripaska , President, Member of the Board of Directors, RUSAL
Lord Mandelson , Chairman, Global Counsel LLP
Alexey Mordashov , Chairman of the Board of Directors, Severstal
Jorgen Rasmussen , President, Chief Executive Officer, Carlsberg Group
Andrey Slepnev , Deputy Chief of Government Staff; Director, Project Management Department, Government of the Russian Federation


Key moments

Scale is our key competitive advantage. The scale of our territory, especially now that we are part of an integration bloc, the scale of our market, and our scale as a global player. We are aware that politics, the economy and commerce are interrelated ... and I guess that the primary objective – and our accession to the WTO was an important move in achieving this – is not to lose this competitive advantage and to realise this potential.
Andrei Slepnev
We’re always discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the WTO for the producer, but it is vital to remember that the WTO is to a large extent not about producers but about consumers, and access to the market for goods and services. Joining the WTO is an additional factor that forces producers to set competitive prices.
Alexey Mordashov
We must understand that the WTO is not a club of friendly, smiling people; rather, it is a shark tank, and we will come to see this very soon, in three or four years, unless we build up our competitiveness.
Oleg Deripaska
This is the big thing about Russia becoming a member of the WTO. The WTO will provide opportunities for Russia; it will not guarantee results. It will provide opportunities, provided Russia wants to use these opportunities. And, if I had to give advice, then I would say: If you are given an opportunity, go and play on the offence.
Arancha Gonzalez
We also have to recognise honestly that one of the reasons why perfectly good, decent Russian companies are marked down and undervalued is not a result of what those companies are doing themselves, but because of the politics that are surrounding those companies in the country as a whole.
Lord Mandelson
Removing barriers, customs barriers, and, most importantly, harmonising regulatory standards and authorisation procedures, has a very substantial impact … Russia’s accession to the WTO is a step toward supporting our relative competitiveness.
Alexey Mordashov