11 Nov 2013

WTI Delivers Training to the Russian Region of Samara

Christian Häberli (back left), Darya Gerasimenko (front left) with representatives of Samara Region

The government of Samara Region, in Russia’s industrial heartland, has developed an action plan for change in the wake of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2012.

Soon after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the WTI and several key stakeholders in the Samara Region, a conference took place  in the city of Samara on 7 November. Gathering together almost 200 participants from local businesses and three local universities, as well as high government officials,  the conference received significant media coverage.

Christian Häberli (WTI Senior Research Fellow) and Darya Gerasimenko (WTI alumnus and a doctoral student at the University of St. Gallen) presented the legal, economic and policy consequences of WTO accession for the Samara Region in particular. They focused on general trends in international commerce and their meaning for Russia, as well as the linkages between the WTO and the Single Economic Space (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan).

Other speakers hailed from Moscow and St. Petersburg State University as well as from regional academic institutions and the Samara construction industry. The implications of WTO accession were emphasised by the recently launched WTO dispute settlement procedures targeting  Russian car policies, an issue of considerable importance given Samara Region’s role as the main producer of Russian motor vehicles.

The event was widely covered by Russian media (see links).

Various follow-up activities to this first event, in Samara Region and in cooperation with the WTI, are under consideration. Further information (in Russian) is available at the Ministry of Economic Development of Samara Region: http://www.economy.samregion.ru/press-center/important/events/08.11.2013/22028/.