- Project Runeberg -  A practical guide for Russian consular officers and all persons having relations with Russia /

(1916) Author: Alfons Heyking - Tema: Russia
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At the close of each year, the Consul is required to submit to
the Ministry of Commerce and Industry a general review of the state
of trade, industry and shipping throughout the whole of his district.
This report must contain information about all that concerns Russian
commerce and shipping. The Consul must also report upon the
progress of trade and shipping at the port where he resides and in
the other ports of his district,1 and upon the customs tariffs in force
in that district, with a list of the duties charged on Russian produce.
He should mention the industries that flourish most in his district
and the class of goods that are stocked in the place, and should
specify those branches of trade in which Russian products play the
most important part and those in which they have to compete with
the products of other countries. He should also mention the
prospects for Russian trade and shipping in the next year, stating the
reasons upon which his opinion is based. In agricultural countries,
the Consul must report annually upon the results of the harvest,
the progress of agricultural industry, the fluctuations in the prices
of agricultural products, &c.2 His annual report should also contain
particulars as to raw and manufactured goods, for which an outlet
exists—either as articles of consumption or as transit goods—in his
Consular district, and the branches of Russian trade which, in that
district, are susceptible of greater development, with an indication
of the means which, he considers, would be best adapted to ensure
such development. It is further recommended that the report should
mention the local market prices of Russian goods, as compared with
those ruling at the places of their production and export ; the rates
of freight on such goods, under the Russian and foreign flags, and
descriptions of the class of goods required by the buyers, e.g., whether,
in the case of wool, the preference is for fine or coarse qualities. As
regards manufactured goods, the taste and fashions of the country
should be indicated. Periodical or spontaneous fluctuations in the
prices of goods and in the cost of their conveyance by land or water,
and the cause of such fluctuations, should also be reported, especially
with regard to goods which compete with Russian articles of export.

According to a Circular of the Russian Ministry of Commerce and
Industry of 30th November 1910, No. 10,656, Consular reports must
not only be correct as to the facts mentioned therein, but they must
also have actual interest, and be written in a language easy for
everybody to understand. Therefore, in these reports, it is desirable to
mention concrete facts which would be of practical use in business,
and to avoid statements of a general and theoretical nature.

In throwing light upon the facts which are of importance for
the interests of Russian trade it is necessary to point out those
circumstances which hamper Russian trade abroad and those of which
Russian merchants ought to take advantage. It is not sufficient
to report facts which occurred in the past and measures which have
been already taken by the local authorities, but it is also of importance
to predict coming events by getting into touch with the local
authorities, commercial and manufacturing circles, and by closely studying
the economic situation of the country. Thus it will be possible to

1 Cons. Reg., Art. 93.

2 Cons. Reg., Art. 94.

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