State as Entrepreneur: Second Wind?

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2016-60-7-60-69

M. Klinova, Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (

Abstract. The article analyzes the evolution of the state-owned enterprises’ (SOEs) role in the economy in the period from 1998 to 2013. The attention to this subject is determined by the growing influence of SOEs at the national and international levels, in particular by the internationalization of their activities in both developed and developing (emerging) economies. Within the category of enterprises that are recognized as state-owned, two groups are distinguished in accordance to the share of state’s participation in the equity (types A and B). Type A includes majority-owned enterprises where the state owns more than 50 per cent of the shares or holds effective control by other means. Type B includes minority-owned enterprises in which the state holds between 10 and 50 per cent of the ordinary share capital or voting rights (partly state-owned enterprises, PSOEs). The international investment activities of SOEs dramatically increased after the global financial crisis of 2008–2009. This is a relatively new phenomenon which is likely to develop further in the near future. The key models and spheres of SOEs dissemination are presented (petroleum and infrastructure, financial services, utilities). The performance of SOEs and private enterprises is compared in several sectors (oil exploration, extracting industries, supply of electricity and heating, communication, aviation). The author analyzes the OECD-led efforts to reform the guidelines of the governance and accountability of SOEs with the aim to increase efficiency and transparency of SOEs functioning in accordance with high international standards of responsible business conduct. An overview of the main changes to the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises (2005) is presented. The document stresses that SOEs should not be used to finance political activities; that the governments should be able to identify and disclose the public policy rationales that justify the maintenance of enterprises under state ownership. At last, the OECD indexes that characterize the state’s role in the economy (direct government control over enterprises and governance of SOEs) are analyzed. The author expects an increase of the SOEs role in the national and global economy in the short and long term for managing the challenges of the currently very turbulent economic environment.

Keywords: state-owned enterprises (SOEs), public ownership, public services, performance, concurrence, competitiveness, SOEs governance, public-private partnership (PPP), OECD 


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For citation:
Klinova M. State as Entrepreneur: Second Wind?. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2016, vol. 60, no. 7, pp. 60-69.

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