Philippines to benefit from Russia’s membership to WTO

The membership of the Russian Federation to the World Trade Organization (WTO) would benefit the Philippines as it is committed to bring its trade laws and practices into compliance with WTO rules and other market-opening measures.
Such commitments include reducing tariffs and binding tariffs levels, ensuring transparency when implementing trade measures, non-discriminatory treatment of imports of goods and services, and enforcing intellectual property rights of foreign holders.
The Philippine mission to the WTO disclosed that Russia’s WTO membership granted the Philippines various concessions that the country has successfully negotiated in 2005.
The concessions include the reduction in tariffs from initial bound rates to final bound rates within an implementation period of zero to six years granted to a number of local products and additional concessions on sugar importation.
Russia is a huge market for the country’s sugar industry as its total importation valued at nearly $US1.8 million last year at generalized system of preferences (GSP) rates.
As part of its WTO commitment, Russia will maintain GSP rates for no less than seven years from August 2012 for the range of products at the level of 75 percent of most favored nation (MFN) applied duty rate.

Russia would also phase out tariffs in agriculture. The average tariff ceiling for agriculture products will be 10.8 percent lower than the current average of 13.2 percent; manufactured goods will be 7.3 percent against the 9.5 percent current average; other goods will come down to 14.9 percent for dairy products, 10 percent for cereals; 7.1 percent for oilseeds, 5.2 percent for chemicals, 12 percent for automobiles, 6.2 percent for electrical machinery and 8 percent for wood and paper.

On financial services, Russia will allow foreign insurance companies to set up branches after nine years while the overall foreign capital participation in the Russian banks will be limited to 50 percent.
Russia would also allow 100 percent foreign-owned companies to engage in wholesale, retail and franchise sectors.