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81

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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TRADE 81
and it is obvious that such occurrences in the case
of transactions arranged with Russian official insti
tutions are bound to weaken the belief in really
sound business relations with Russia. The cause
of the mistake in this instance is difficult to trace ;
but presumably it is due in the main to a lack of
co-operation between the various Russian organisa
tions, and to the excessive bureaucratic tendencies
which seem at present to form a serious obstacle in
the way of the development of Russian economic
life. An experience such as that mentioned above
is a warning to foreign business men to secure the
written consent of the Vnesjtorg first of all, where
imports to, or exports from, Russia are concerned.
In other cases it has similarly proved to be a
matter of great difficulty to obtain sufficiently
reliable agreements with the Russian State authori
ties. Probably this is owing both to the fre
quently clumsy working of bureaucracy and to the
already mentioned lack of co-operation between the
Russian State organisations ; and let us hope that
this will soon right itself as a result of more
experience. But in the meantime it has had a very
unfortunate effect on outside confidence in Russian
trade possibilities.
What is first and most urgently needed for the
recovery of Russia’s home and foreign trade is
capitai. The various undertakings lack the neces
sary working capital for procuring raw materials
in time and for giving short -term credit to the
Russian population, whose purchasing power is
greatly reduced.
6

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