Foreign Concessions

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  Foreign concessions in the national economy of the USSR

Period: 1922-1927

State publishing house 1928
Moscow 1928 Leningrad
Printed at the 1st Exemplary Printing House of Giza. Moscow, Pyatnitskaya, 71.
Glavlit No. A 613. Giz No. 2371 Order No. 4679. Circulation 3000 copies.

Foreword by V. N. Ksandrova
What are concessions and why do we need them?
Stages of the concession policy and practice of the USSR.
Operating foreign concessions and what they give to the national economy of the USSR.
Our concession plans and opportunities.

Issues of our concession policy and practice have not had much luck in print. Only a few books and pamphlets and a small number of magazine and newspaper articles are all we have on these matters. It is unlikely that such a situation is a normal situation.

In the period of transition to socialism, concessions, especially in such an economically backward country as our Union, can and must play a certain role in raising its productive forces, especially during the period of reconstruction of the entire national economy.

Who even briefly got acquainted with the “Prospects for the Development of the National Economy of the USSR for 1926-1931.” (Materials of the Central Commission on the 5-year plan), edited by comrade S. G. Strumilin , who, of course, knows with what difficulty the labor balance of the country is developing over this five-year period. And this is despite the full use of the entire accumulation of the country and the far from complete satisfaction of its economic needs.

Therefore, the role of concessions at this transitional moment and the conditions for their existence, along with our socialist industry and the capitalist elements of the country's economy, and the specific dangers that are possible with the development of the concession economy, should be the subject of the widest and closest study.

The work of Comrade Butkovsky in our small concession literature, it seems to me, will occupy a certain place. The author, an employee of the Glavkontsesskom, had every opportunity to use primary sources and give a general picture of our concession practice. This is the most valuable aspect of Comrade Butkovsky 's work .

When reading this work, the thoughtful reader will no doubt pay attention to the extreme "diversity" of our concessions. He will undoubtedly note that so far there is no planned beginning in our concession practice. People come to us with concession proposals, but we do not create them.

This aspect of the matter will undoubtedly undergo significant changes in the future. The correct development of the concession business cannot be conceived otherwise than along the lines of the general implementation of the planned assumptions for the development of our economy. An independent plan of concession enterprises is unthinkable. This should be a function and part of our general plan for developing the economy.

Therefore, instead of waiting for the proposals of the concessionaires, instead of "variegation" and the dominance of chance in this matter, we must ourselves come up with those concession proposals that interest us, precisely in the general prospects for the development of our economy. Of course, a certain amount of flexibility is needed in this regard. For example, in the timing of the implementation of this or that enterprise: a concession can also be given to an enterprise that is outlined in the general plans for the development of our economy, but not foreseen, say, in a five-year plan. However, the overall alignment with the deployment plan is necessary.

Such a formulation requires us to have the broadest and most active policy and practice in the concession business.

The solution of this problem will undoubtedly require considerable effort on our part. We have to outline a number of concession facilities, find out their technical and production tasks, possible economic and commercial working conditions - and only then come up with proposals for transferring them to a concession.

At the same time, Comrade Butkovsky 's work reveals that an entire area of ​​our economy—communal services—has not yet resorted to concession methods in the performance of its tasks. And it would seem that it is precisely here, given the very primitive forms of our communal improvement, given the unusually rapid rate of growth of the urban population, that certain branches of communal services could be the subject of a concession. Obviously, here, too, something is not being completed by us or is not fully realized.

The result is the high cost of utilities, in order to find funds to resolve communal problems. Meanwhile, communal enterprises are exactly those objects into which concessionary capital is especially easy to attract, because the experience of the past in this respect provides a wealth of practice and materials.

In exactly the same way, the reader of Comrade Butkovsky 's book will have to note the complete absence of railway concessions in our country, and yet it is in this area that concessions are especially desirable, and their type has been largely developed by past practice, etc.

I repeat, Comrade Butkovsky 's book , thanks to the factual material contained in it, raises a number of questions about our concession practice - questions that are undoubtedly of great importance for our economic development.

Small as our concessions are now, they still employ tens of thousands of workers and employees and contribute millions to the state budget. With the development of our concession work, these figures will increase significantly, and thereby the importance of concession issues will increase, and therefore Comrade Butkovsky 's book is an extremely timely book.

V. Ksandrov.