Swiss game F4-F5: will Russia join the new financial union

From the one side, the European Union as international formation with standard legal system covering all EU-countries makes a contribution to regional integration and implementation of Four Freedoms for member-countries: free movement of goods, freedom of movement for workers, right of establishment and freedom to provide services, free movement of capital. From another side, the EU today has serious problems allowing to speak about the possibility of its collapse. Some of these problems:

  • rush EU expansion through accession of states, led to the violation of established stability of the “old world” countries;
  • incompleteness of normative base and gap from today’s realities resulted in non-discussion of many fundamental direction in due time;
  • continuing world crises led to strengthening the contradictions among EU members; it also does not allow to choose behavior model of supporting each other in this period;
  • it is more frequently spoken about over-regulation within the Union, forcing the certain countries’ interests, solving serious problems by means of other members.

Probably that is why in June 2016 Great Britain hold a referendum concerning exit from the EU (so-called Brexit) and 51,9% voted to leave it. Dissociation with the EU will lead to loss of simple access to the European financial market. As far as many participants entered the market through London, this channel may soon be interrupted.

Accumulated problems complicate relations in and out the Union, especially in the financial sector, and intercept entering the EU markets. Being a non-member of the EU and included in the Schengen zone, Switzerland will have some difficulties in Great Britain in the near future due to its exit, because Swiss banks are closely connected with the London City. Considered as tough competitors for Europe, Singapore and Hong Kong are under limitation concerning access to the financial markets.

Willing to save its possibilities of being one of the world’s financial centers, Switzerland suggested Great Britain, Singapore and Hong Kong to be formed into financial alliance. The aims are as follows: forming up the dialogue on the role of financial sector; creation of jurisdictions union able to follow industry system of credit and insurance institutions cooperation; development of international standards of activity; joint lobbying of common interests; solving of problem of access to international markets, including the European Union.

This alliance, which is already called F4, will also be of interest to Russia and the country can join it. Sanctions imposed by the USA, EU and a number of other countries against Russia have limited trade, crediting and investment on their territories. Entering the alliance will allow to protect own interests with common efforts, to suggest reasonable changes, solve issues on access to the markets of the EU and other regions.

Advanced technologies will help Russian manufacturing industry

The analysts’ forecasts about difficult beginning of the 2016 year with the transition to positive dynamics in the second half-year are working.

Cautious optimism is infused by the data of the Federal state statistics service (Rosstat), but industrial production, as well as the majority of sectors of the Russian economy, is still in difficult situation. Sales reduction, lack of demand, weakening the national currency have negative impact on domestic industry.

Data on the diagram confirms again that the Russian economy is driven by the basic materials sector - mining operations demonstrate positive growth rate in examined periods even in the acute phase of crisis at the end of 2015. Positive dynamics in manufacturing, as well as in production and distribution of electric power, gas and water has been observing since 2016.

Dynamics of industrial production to the relevant period of thr previous year %, according to RosstatPicture 1. Dynamics of industrial production to the relevant period of thr previous year %, according to Rosstat

Development and implementation of advanced technologies can be a growth driver and help to overcome crisis and get out of stagnancy. It would be hard to overestimate the importance of modern development work - automation of production processes, creation of modern equipment, computerization of manufacturing industry, energy-saving technology, utilization technology, etc. The diagram below indicates positive tendencies in this direction.

Used advanced manufacturing technologiesPicture 2. Used advanced manufacturing technologies

Following the diagram, the number of advanced technologies using by the domestic enterprises has been growing in recent years. According to Rosstat, the increase in 2015 is about 14% in comparison with the year of 2012.

Data of the next diagram shows a kind of slowdown in new technologies development. However the positive changes after the extremely dire straits for the whole industry in 2010 should not go unnoticed. The number of technologies developed in the past 6 years has increased by 62%.

Developed advanced manufacturing technologiesPicture 3. Developed advanced manufacturing technologies

Official data speaks also for other growth signs of innovative activity of the Russian industrial enterprises: from 2012 to 2014 the expenses on technological innovations increased by 31%.

In conclusion it may be said that domestic enterprises take the path of innovative development.

In term of using the advanced technologies, Russia does not take the leading positions in the world. However domestic manufacturers begin to understand that only constant implementations of new technologies can ensure the stable rate of growth in the volatility of economy and unpredictability of market conditions, thereby making to invest long-term innovative projects increasingly.