Russia urged to press on with reforms

OECD Observer

Russia's President Putin in talks with OECD Secretary-General Donald Johnston. ©OECD

OECD Secretary General Donald J. Johnston, at a meeting in Paris with President Putin, urged the Russian authorities to push ahead with their programme of reforms and encouraged them to reap fully the benefits of Russia's long standing co-operation with the OECD.

In a statement, Mr. Johnston said he welcomed "the determination of Russia’s leaders to move forward on a wide range of policy reforms that are critically needed to speed up the integration of Russia into the world economy and so ensure that it fulfills its potential for economic and social progress. Rapid and full implementation of the reform programme will be a crucial test of the government's ability to establish Russia as a fully fledged market economy, based on the rule of law."

Mr. Johnston and President Putin agreed that OECD is well placed to help Russia at the present juncture. The OECD's co-operation programme matches closely Russia's own reform agenda, and its unique method of co-operation provides Russian policy makers with a forum for objective and focused discussion with peers in OECD countries who have faced similar challenges. Keeping in mind the shared goal of future Russia's accession to the OECD, a major challenge ahead is to move Russia closer to OECD standards in a range of policy areas. President Putin and Mr. Johnston agreed to give their personal attention to ensuring that Russia/OECD co-operation continues to receive the high priority it deserves both in Russia and in OECD capitals.

During the course of their discussions, Mr. Johnston and President Putin discussed a number of specific policy areas where the Russian authorities are actively benefiting from OECD reform advice. These include reform of the financial relations between central government and regional governments, investment policy, corporate governance, and the need for better regulation of large infrastructure monopolies.

An OECD Economic Survey of Russia published last year examined the issues posed by Russia’s system of fiscal federalism, or the financial relations between federal, regional and local governments. Reform of this system will be a difficult process and OECD will continue to work with Russian regional and local governments on the implementation of reforms. During his meeting with Mr. Johnston, President Putin stressed that this was "a key priority" for his government. In January 2001, OECD and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade will co-sponsor a conference in Moscow on fiscal federalism.

Mr. Johnston and President Putin agreed on the importance of attracting foreign investment in order to assist and support economic reform. In this context, the OECD has made a number of recommendations for improvements in Russia’s investment climate. President Putin stressed that while some progress had been made in creating the long-term conditions to attract and keep foreign investors, Russia still has a lot to do. Mr. Johnston concluded by mentioning that he intends to be in Moscow in early December for a major conference on investment policies bringing together the G-8 countries and emerging economies.

The OECD has identified corporate governance problems as a major impediment to investment in Russia. The Russian authorities and Russian private sector interests are co-operating closely with the OECD and other institutions to formulate policies to address corporate governance abuses. This will be one of the topics for discussion during a meeting of the Russian Corporate Governance Roundtable in Moscow 15-16 November 2000. Ultimately, this process is expected to result in a series of specific recommendations to the Russian authorities based on the OECD’s Principles of Corporate Governance.

The OECD has also identified reform of Russia’s system of large infrastructure monopolies as an important priority. In many of the sectors covered by these monopolies, competition could be introduced without major difficulties. The Russian government’s economic reform programme calls for a competition policy approach to the regulation of infrastructure monopolies, with a view to promoting investment, efficiency, and lower prices by introducing competition where possible and efficient regulation where necessary. In December, the OECD will hold the first of several meetings with the Ministry for Antimonopoly Policy to discuss ways in which OECD countries have dealt with these matters.

©OECD Observer November 2000




Economic data

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • Read some of the insightful remarks made at OECD Forum 2017, held on 6-7 June. OECD Forum kick-started events with a focus on inclusive growth, digitalisation, and trust, under the overall theme of Bridging Divides.
  • Checking out the job situation with the OECD scoreboard of labour market performances: do you want to know how your country compares with neighbours and competitors on income levels or employment?
  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • How do the largest community of British expats living in Spain feel about Brexit? Britons living in Orihuela Costa, Alicante give their views.
  • Brexit is taking up Europe's energy and focus, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Watch video.
  • OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann and former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King discuss the economic merits of a US border adjustment tax and the outlook for US economic growth.
  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa. blogs.worldbank.org
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at www.oecd.org/careers .

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2017