The Openness of National Economies: The World and Russia

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-10-5-15

V. Obolensky (,
Institute of Economics, Russian Academy of Science, 32, Nakhimovskiy Prosp., Moscow, 117218, Russian Federation;

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

Abstract. The article deals with the process of building-up the openness of national economies – the liberalization of the international exchange of goods, services and capital – in its institutional and reproductive aspects. It outlines the main directions of this process related to the working out of multilateral agreements in respect to the universal rules of the regulation of the world trade and principles of the freedom of cross-border investments as well as of regional integrational agreements that reduce barriers in trade and investment cooperation between the participants. The author agrees that before the global crisis of 2008–2009 the economic openness really helped the intensification of the international exchange and the economic growth. However, in the post-crisis period there emerged the situation of so called “new normal”. It is featured by a number of fundamental negative factors (volatility at financial markets, sharp fluctuations of prices of the raw materials, low growth rates of the world trade and investments) that counter-balance the stimulating role of the liberalization. In this light, the author proposes a comparative analysis of the degree of the openness of the economy of Russia and of the economies of the leaders of the world trade, of the oil-exporting nations, as well as of countries with the comparable level of GDP per capita. A conclusion is drawn that, at present time, Russia is economically less open than the most developed countries and somewhat more open than the leading developing countries. It is pointed out that, despite the often declared commitment to the openness, in order to support domestic producers the government of Russia continues to apply to the protectionist measures that violate multilateral agreements. The author believes that, in the short term, it is unlikely that the openness of national economies can be further increased globally and that the protectionist trends can be resisted in the world. The degree of openness of the Russian economy may grow considerably only in the case of the achievement of multilateral agreements in the framework of the WTO round at Doha, however this looks rather problematic today. The conclusion by the EEU agreements of the free trade with a number of countries will not raise considerably the openness of the Russian economy. The openness may rise if the idea of the formation of the common economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, formulated earlier but illusory in the present international situation, will be realized. 

Keywords: economic openness, protectionism, Russian economy, perspectives 


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For citation:
Obolenskiy V. The Openness of National Economies: The World and Russia. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, No 10, pp. 5-15.

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