On Juny 21-22, 2012, the Minister Andrey Belousov participated in the XVI St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
Forum: Govt. and Business aren't in sync over Russia's future
Gazeta.ru 22.06.12 19:37 By Olga Tanas, edited by Karina Ayvazova
The 16th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) has questioned businessmen about possible futures for Russian development up to 2030. It is believed an economic recession, along with political unrest in Russia, might lead to catastrophic consequences. It is also believed that investments in human capital, the development of small business, and increased competitiveness could avert those consequences. However, the current government agenda only partially coincides with such solutions.
Sixty-five representatives from major businesses and over 1000 economic news monitors took part in a poll organized by the Prime news agency.
The main conclusion that was made from poll was the immediate need to diversify Russia's economy.
"If the economic recession coincides with the ongoing political unrest, it will become 'a perfect storm' for Russian stability," one of the respondents said.
Uncertainty about whether Russia will be able to sustain the current level of oil and gas production in the future, as well as the dramatic changes in world economy, might lead to Moscow finding itself on the edge, the SPIEF report says.
"Russia is now more vulnerable to oil exports than 10 years ago," one of those questioned said. "The crisis of 2008-2009 ended in a good way not because Russia managed to create strong reserves during high oil price periods, but because the price reduction did not last very long," another respondent added.
Russia is more sensitive to external shocks, such as the crisis in the Eurozone, than many people think," one of the respondents said.
In spite of the fact that Russia's government has highlighted the need to diversify the economy, "a lack of progress in that direction worries society more and more," many businessmen think.
The economists and entrepreneurs mention not only changes of dialogue between political and economic elites, but also the way how civil society and the middle class express their political views. "The tension between Russian ministers is increasing: some of them insist on necessity of increased spending, however, others are wary of the long-term commitments that the increased spending will lead to," one of the experts said.
That is why it is so necessary to decentralize the power and increase competitiveness- both politically and economically , the SPIEF experts stress.
The business sector has some advice for the government. Over one third of respondents, 37.7%, said that in order to diversify the Russian economy, it is important to improve human capital through reforms in the fields of health care, education and migration. One in five respondents (approx. 21,9%) think the authorities should stimulate the growth of small and medium businesses, a tenth (10,6%) think that the government should increase competitiveness between companies.
But the businessmen's agenda and the agenda of the Russian government aren't quite in-step.
To involve entrepreneurs in strategic decision making, there needs to be a reform of state management in the field of electronic government, the development of the social sphere and the creation of a strategic management system – these are the priority goals for Russia up to 2030 announced by Andrey Belousov, the Minister of Economic Development.
Russia must diversify economy to ensure growth - minister
The Voice of Russia, 21.06.2012
The Russian government should look for ways and sources other than oil exports to stimulate economic growth, Economic Development Minister Andrey Belousov said in St. Petersburg on Thursday.
In 2007, oil accounted for half of the country’s 7%-8% GDP increase.
Belousov outlined economic key priorities for the government.
These include a better business clime, an administrative reform and privatization.
Russian GDP up 4.2 pct y/y in May - econ min
(Reuters) - Russian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was up 4.2 percent year-on-year in May against a 3.7 percent rise in April, Economy Minister Andrey Belousov said on Thursday.
The ministry will raise its 2012 GDP forecast to 3.7-4.0 percent from 3.4 percent, Belousov also told reporters. In 2011, Russia's economy grew 4.3 percent.