Rus­sian resur­gence & its eco­nomic im­pact

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS - Tariq Khalil

of Europe. Rus­sia has strength­ened Com­mon­wealth of In­de­pen­dent States, CIS and Eurasian Eco­nomic Zone con­sist­ing of Ar­me­nia, Be­larus, Kaza­khstan, and Kyr­gyzs­tan. On its East deep hug with In­dia is turn­ing into loose em­brace as IN­DIA is drift­ing in US lap. We also see Rus­sia us­ing its po­si­tion in Se­cu­rity Coun­cil pru­dently and boldly. On eco­nomic front Rus­sia is emerg­ing from slum­ber and ex­pected the econ­omy gear­ing up in next two to three years. With this Rus­sia is al­ready ex­ert­ing its in­flu­ence on the global stage end­ing one su­per power sce­nario,

Rus­sia’s his­tory stretches back to no­madic time, no­madic pas­toral­ist de­vel­op­ing in the pe­riod and stretches be­fore Christ in 8th cen­tury BC. The greater Rus­sia started ris­ing from 15th cen­tury and later sub­du­ing Khanates and con­tin­ued ex­pand­ing. It is in 17th cen­tury that mod­ern Rus­sia takes form and we see its pres­ence in Europe power strug­gle dur­ing th­ese cen­turies and even­tu­ally turn­ing in to an em­pire which con­tin­ued ex­pand­ing till 20th cen­tury.

With com­mu­nists com­ing into power, Bol­she­vik Soviet Em­pire and hav­ing been vic­to­ri­ous in Napoleonic, and vic­tory in World wars the Soviet em­pires stretched 11 time zones from eastern fringes to Alaska. It is in 1991 on the break up, that the present day ma­jor land mass de­clared it­self as Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion. From 1991 to 2015, Rus­sia went through an­other trans­for­ma­tion from Com­mu­nism to Cap­i­tal econ­omy. If Avon the Great con­sol­i­dated in 15th cen­tury, Stalin trans­formed Rus­sia af­ter the Vic­tory of WW2, not only turned it to a mod­ern state and ex­panded the em­pire. Rus­sia now is re-emerg­ing un­der Vladimir Putin once again shed­ding the lethargy and chaos, which en­gulfed Rus­sia over the re­cent decades.

From 1999-2000 Rus­sia made spec­tac­u­lar strides in econ­omy, and is 6th largest in the world re­gard­less of sanc­tions. It has main­tained its For­eign Cur­rency re­serves around 350 bil­lion from less than 500 it planned. Its GDP growth has been pos­i­tive, around 1.5 % and per capita in­come is vari­able rang­ing up to $25000. IMF and World Bank gave pos­i­tive rat­ing and it is ex­pected Rus­sia will re­cover fully by 2017. The oil is ris­ing again as at $ 70 Rus­sian econ­omy will even up.

The row with Turkey also has cost. All im­ports and ex­ports are banned, re­sult­ing to throw open the mar­ket of around $ 22 bil­lion in con­sumer goods. For Pak­istan, it is golden op­por­tu­nity. Pak­istan Busi­ness Fo­rum in the last seven years has made in un-daunt­ing ef­forts to pro­mote aware­ness in both the coun­tries; this Fo­rum has been re­ceiv­ing Trade del­e­ga­tions and also sent busi­ness­men to Rus­sia. Fo­rum has been ap­proach­ing at all lev­els to project prob­lem ar­eas on both sides. Ma­jor prob­lem has been the bank­ing fa­cil­i­ties, visa is­suance prob­lems, non avail­abil­ity of di­rect flight, and above all the lack of aware­ness on both sides, which can be tack­led with fre­quent ex­changes of del­e­ga­tions and con­duct of trade ex­hi­bi­tions. There is a great po­ten­tial to ex­port meat, chromium, mar­ble, gar­ments, ap­par­els, bed and li­nen, denim, sur­gi­cal goods, auto and trac­tor parts, rice, fruit of dif­fer­ent kinds, ba­si­cally Kino and Mango, Herbal medicines and ap­proved phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

There are at least seventy Rus­sian com­pa­nies who are in­ter­ested to do busi­ness and also make in­vest­ment in Pak­istan. In the im­port sec­tor, Rus­sia is in a po­si­tion to help Pak­istan in high tech­nol­ogy, space com­mu­ni­ca­tion, machin­ery, agri and farm equip­ment, in­clud­ing heavy con­struc­tion machin­ery, min­ing, min­ing equip­ment, oil gas ex­plo­ration and equip­ment, chem­i­cal, steel and ren­o­va­tion of Steel Mills, par­tic­i­pa­tion in power sec­tor, tur­bines, hy­dro power projects, mod­ern­iza­tion of rail­ways, un­der­ground and over ground metro in ur­ban cities. There are com­pa­nies, which are will­ing to come in joint ven­tures, es­pe­cially in the field of heavy com­mer­cial and mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles. I strongly rec­om­mend there should be me­dia ex­changes to pro­mote aware­ness, which is lack­ing at the mo­ment. —The writer, re­tired Bri­gadier, is dec­o­rated vet­eran of wars and a de­fence an­a­lyst based in La­hore.

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