Russia's WTO accession welcomed by SWA

Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WT0), after 18 years of negotiation, has been welcomed by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

The WTO announced Russia’s entry into the 156-member organisation yesterday,  a development that thrusts Europe’s largest population and one of the world’s largest economic forces into the forefront of global trade.

In acceding to the WTO, Russia has committed to an open, transparent and non-discriminatory global trading system. 

A SWA spokesperson said: "We welcome Russia's WTO accession, which should support exports to what is a key emerging market, with exports already estimated at over £130m a year in customs value. 

“Whilst it can be difficult to do business in Russia, WTO membership should help to create a more predictable operating environment.  A 30% reduction in the whisky tariff over three years will also promote future growth."

Maxim Medvedkov, chief negotiator for the Russian Federation, said: “The agreement as negotiated brings us into the system of multilateral trading rules, creating new opportunities for our traders and investors and enabling us to protect their commercial interests even more effectively than before.”

Pascal Lamy, director-general of the WTO, said. “This system provides important guarantees for Russia and for the other members of our organization.

"This win-win result will bring Russia more firmly into the global economy and make it a more attractive place to do business. “ 

Vanuatu will also join the WTO on August 24 as its 157th member.