Economic Cooperation of the Socialist Countries
Economic Cooperation of the Socialist Countries
a system of international economic relations that ensures that full use is made of the advantages of the international socialist division of labor.
Unlike the economic cooperation of the capitalist countries, which is marked by a fierce competitive struggle between monopolies, individual countries, and groups, the economic cooperation of the socialist countries is based on the principles of socialist internationalism, full equality, mutual respect, independence and sovereignty, and fraternal mutual aid. The economic cooperation of the socialist countries strengthens the economy of each participating country and reinforces the mutual ties of countries belonging to the socialist community. Under this system, countries are increasingly bound together in the areas of politics, economics, and public life; levels of development are gradually equalized; and the economic power of the world socialist system is increased.
The economic cooperation of the socialist countries dates from the emergence of cooperation between the USSR and the Mongolian People’s Republic in the mid–1920’s. When the world socialist system took shape after World War II, this process underwent further development. Immediately after the war, the economic cooperation of the socialist countries was primarily concerned with rebuilding and restructuring the various national economies and with creating the foundations for a modern economy in countries that had inherited a backward material and technical base.
The cooperation of the socialist countries became more varied as their economic, scientific, and technological potential grew. Improvements were made in the cooperative system, which was based on the planned regulation of international economic relations. In addition to bilateral economic cooperation, there was continuous development of multilateral economic cooperation among the socialist countries, enabling them to deal more effectively with important economic problems. The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON), established in 1949, and the International Bank for Economic Cooperation, created in 1963, were instrumental in further developing and improving cooperation.
Beginning in the early 1970’s, economic cooperation among the COMECON member nations has been based on the Comprehensive Program for Socialist Economic Integration, adopted at the Twenty-fifth Session of COMECON in 1971. This program has made it possible to increase cooperation among the COMECON member nations in order to collectively resolve common socioeconomic problems, to jointly develop natural resources, to carry out major construction projects designed to meet the needs of all the interested countries, and to develop long-term international cooperation among enterprises and branches of industry.
At present, the consistent use of the advantages of economic integration makes it possible to coordinate the COMECON member nations in their efforts to jointly resolve problems involving the expanded extraction and production of the major types of raw materials, fuel, supplies, machine-building output, food, and consumer goods. It also facilitates the development of transportation in accordance with long-term special-purpose programs, worked out jointly, and leads to more closely coordinated and united efforts among the COMECON member nations in the area of scientific and technological progress (seeSCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION OF THE SOCIALIST COUNTRIES ).
As the socialist countries become integrated, national economic complexes take shape and interact with one another in a highly sophisticated way; it is against this background that the socialization of socialist production develops on an international scale.
As the international socialist division of labor in various branches and areas of the economy increased, stable international relations were established—notably in the areas of production, science, and technology—that reflected the socialist integration and internationalization of the economic life of socialist countries. As economic cooperation developed, international specialization and cooperation of production and scientific and technical cooperation became more widespread and substantial. Economic organizations and associations created by the COMECON member nations are becoming more active. Increased economic cooperation of the COMECON member nations in all areas is manifested in the growing trade among the countries, which more than doubled in volume between 1971 and 1976 and amounted to 79.2 billion rubles in 1976. Trade among the COMECON countries represented about 56 percent of their total commodity turnover (see alsoWORLD SOCIALIST MARKET).
In accordance with agreements concluded while coordinating national economic plans, the exchange of goods produced by the machine-building industry will be developed at an especially rapid rate. The cooperation of COMECON countries with other socialist countries is expanding on a multilateral and bilateral basis. (See alsoINTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION.)
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Mnogostoronnee ekonomicheskoe sotrudnichestvo sotsialisticheskikh gosudarstv: (Sb. dokumentov), 2nd ed. Moscow, 1972.
Vneshneekonomicheskie sviazi sotsialisticheskikh stran. Moscow, 1974.
Ekonomicheskaia integratsiia i sovershenstvovanie mekhanizma sotrudnichestva stran-chlenov SEV. Moscow, 1975.
IU. S. SHIRIAEV