A chance to get down to business

An article in The Economist says that with Russia joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO), we will now get to see whether President Vladimir Putin really wants Russia to be a less terrible place to do business. Instead of seeing WTO membership as a way to force Russian industry to compete, the country’s lawmakers so far seem to be seeking to frustrate the club’s free-trade rules. Watching these machinations, pessimists fear that WTO membership will mean rent-seeking bureaucrats merely rejigging their bad habits, leaving Russia’s crony-capitalism intact. This would be a wasted opportunity.

Saturday, July 14, 2012