The Russian government has approved the state program on the "Development of Foreign Economic Activity"

On March 7, 2013, the Minister of Economic Development Andrei Belousov, spoke at a meeting of the Russian Government to report on the draft of the state program on "The development of foreign economic activity." After the discussion, the decision was agreed upon to approve the draft of the state program.

In his report, the Minister noted that currently the export of non-raw material goods accounts for only 8% of the export structure, and mechanical engineering - about 5%. The aim is to increase the share of non-raw material exports to 12% by 2018, which is 1.5 times the current amount, including mechanical engineering up to 7-8%.

In 2011, the share of the Russian Federation in world merchandise exports rose to 2.86% against 1.65% in 2001. The dynamics of Russian exports in those years did not yield to the global average, but they were secured exclusively through price factors.

Russia remains robust and stable in the markets of fuel and raw materials. In particular, Russia occupies 1st place in the export of natural gas, rough diamonds, aluminium, nickel and nitrogen fertilizers, 2-3rd place for the export of oil and petroleum products and remains 3-4th place for the export of electricity, potassium fertilizers and ferrous metals. Russia's share of world exports in 2011 amounted to: mineral fuel - 9%, fertilizers - 13.6%, ferrous and non-ferrous metals - 26.8%.

Apart from the commodity markets, the number of positions for which the importance of Russia as an exporter is large enough, is very limited.  First of all, we can look at defence and their associated goods and technology. Thus, Russia firmly holds second place in the market for conventional weapons. According to the Stockholm Institute for Peace and Disarmament, the Russian share in the total world arms exports in 2010 amounted to 24% (1st place was taken by the U.S.A. - 30%).  In this case, the positive dynamics of exports of this commodity group can be observed. In 2012, "Rosoboronexport" implemented export supplies of Russian military products to 60 countries for a total of about 12.9 billion dollars. In 2011, the figure was 10.7 billion dollars in 2010 - 8.7 billion dollars.

Russia also occupies a strong position in the market of energy equipment and of complete energy construction projects abroad. However the Russian Federation is still in an extremely weak situation with regards to other positions in the market of civil and high tech products. The share of domestic machinery, equipment and transport vehicles in the total world exports of machines and equipment does not exceed 1.5-2%.

Thus, in the current global competitive market, Russian industry accounts for the production of raw materials, semi-finished products that are technologically simple (metals, paper, plastics), and low-tech goods of final demand (fertilizer).

For the implementation of the state program "Development of Foreign Economic Activity" , the provision of financial resources from the federal budget is made in the amount of 422 billion roubles (for the period from 2013 to 2018), with about 88% of this amount being spent on measures to ensure customs operations. The improvement of customs control, of course, is necessary, but it is hardly the determining factor in stimulating non-raw material exports.

An increased export capacity is closely associated with the solution of common problems of Russia's economic development, the expansion of state support of export activities, the improvement of the conditions for research and the implementation of their results in the production of a specific technology, the implementation of measures to improve trade, insurance and credit services. Large-scale investments in the real sector, improving the investment climate in the country, improved rail and road infrastructure, the improvement of the ports, as well as the resolution of other issues are all necessary.

N.P. Volovik – Head of the Foreign Trade Department