Academic journal article Romanian Journal of European Affairs

Ukraine in the WTO: Effects and Prospects

Academic journal article Romanian Journal of European Affairs

Ukraine in the WTO: Effects and Prospects

Article excerpt

Introduction

The topic of this article is mainly based on the results and prospects of Ukraine's accession to the WTO. The choice of this topic is motivated by the importance of assessing the experience of Ukraine in order to draw some basic conclusions for Russia. Ukraine has become an official member of the WTO on 16 May 2008. For Russia, which joined the WTO on 22 August 2012, it will be very useful to analyse the consequences of Ukraine's accession to the WTO. Firstly, the economic structure of the country is closest to the structure of the Russian economy, and secondly, it has been more than 6 years since the entry of Ukraine into the WTO, which is sufficient time to assess the socioeconomic impact of this development.

The purpose of this research is to analyze the results and consequences of Ukraine's accession to the WTO, and on this basis to draw conclusions about the possible consequences of Russia's WTO accession.

To achieve this goal, the authors proceeded to:

1) Consider the experts' opinions with regard to the assessment of the conditions and consequences of Ukraine's accession to the WTO;

2) Analyse the dynamics of Ukraine's foreign trade in the 2000-2012 period;

3) Evaluate the impact of the global financial crisis and its key factors on the dynamics of the foreign trade of Ukraine;

4) Determine the trend of changes in foreign direct investment in Ukraine;

5) Analyse the changes in the domestic consumer market of Ukraine;

6) Analyse the changes in some sectors of Ukrainian economy: automotive, agricultural machinery, woodworking and trade in food products;

7) Consider the financial performance of the real sector of economy of Ukraine.

Based on the study, they assessed the effects of Ukraine's accession to the WTO and drew conclusions on possible outcomes of WTO membership for Russia.

In order to analyse and evaluate the consequences of Ukraine's accession to the WTO combined methods of analysis have been employed using official statistics, the definition of core concepts and the identification of trends with the help of various indicators.

Research results

Before the study, it is necessary to consider the views of various experts on the possible positive and negative consequences of Ukraine's accession to the WTO. In our opinion, the conditions under which Ukraine joined the WTO, were disadvantageous for the country. This is due to the hasty decision to join the WTO. During the course of negotiations, Ukraine was unable to obtain the most favourable terms. This view is shared by a number of experts, whose opinions are presented below.

The accession of Ukraine to the WTO occurred in a context characterised by a lack of strategy for the development of the real economy. Therefore, in the opinion of the Chairman of the Industrial Group UPEC, Anatoly Girshfeld, there is no telling if the terms of the accession to the WTO were effective for the country.

In the opinion of the Head of the Federation of the employers of Ukraine, Dmitry Oleinik, Ukraine could gain better terms and conditions for the access of their national commodities to international markets and protect national business. From this point of view Ukraine and Ukrainian manufacturers have lost.

In Girshfeld's opinion, Ukraine acceded to the WTO on terms which were not very advantageous due to political concerns, because of the haste of the decision making process and the low proficiency of the experts and officials who took part in the negotiation process. "What is most important is that there was no economic pragmatism at all, which usually takes place in case of taking such decisions. Where the WTO has become an absolute tool for high-technology industry lobbyism, which are the basis for the economic development of the countries", according to Girshfeld [7].

During the negotiations numerous concessions to foreign partners were made and, as such, all of a sudden the Ukrainian market became easily accessible for foreign products, and low competitive abilities of many branches of the Ukrainian economy did not allow to exercise within a short time the advantages of the openness of markets of WTO member countries for the Ukrainian manufactures and service providers. …

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