Changes in the foreign trade structure of the Russian Far East under the process of transition toward a market economy

Discussion Papers



March 2007


Under the process of transition toward a market economy, the economic connections of the Russian Far East (RFE) with external regions changed from a division of labor among the regions of the USSR (Russia) to an international division of labor. This happened due to factors including the liberalization of the trade system away from a state monopoly, the presence of rich natural resources and of developed industries related to these resources, the advantage of geographically proximity to Asia-Pacific countries, and the political and economic division of the once unified national economic space during the process of transition.

The economic connections of RFE with external economies changed radically under the transition toward the market economy. First, the value of foreign trade increased dramatically and the importance of foreign trade for the RFE economy increased enormously. Second, however, different territories of RFE traveled along different trajectories, due to factors involving their industrial structure and geographical conditions. Third, in recent years connections with China, in the areas of both exports and imports, have grown. Fourth, the share within exports of “fuel, mineral resources and metal” increased radically from the end of the 1990s, and the share of “machine, facilities and transportation means” increased from 2002 year within imports. Under this situation, especially since 2002, there has been a major change in the structure of foreign trade.

Keywords: Centrally planed economy (CPE), process of transition towards the market economy, the economic connections of RFE with external economies, the role of foreign trade.
JEL classification: F1

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