RUSSIAN ECONOMY, 2005-10: GROWTH RATE 11-15%, SAYS SENATOR

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MOSCOW, November 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russian economic growth rates will be within 11-15 per cent next year into 2010, expects Sergei Vasilyev, finance market and money circulation committee head at the Federation Council, parliament's upper house. He said so to a news briefing which summed up a Moscow conference on, "Building Up the Gross Regional Product in Russian Constituent Entities".

To double the gross domestic product is quite an attainable goal, what with a beneficial current situation, deems the Senator.

Government forecasts of economic progress rates are underestimated-actual rates steadily exceeded them within preceding years. When, for instance, an annual 5 per cent is predicted, the real rate comes at 6.5 per cent, said Mr. Vasilyev.

As the conferees analysed capital investment, they highlighted Russian-based industrial companies. Start investments are hazardous at 80 per cent of companies, the gathering pointed out. It would be far more reasonable to make such investments out of the federal purse at 500,000 roubles per company (today's Central Bank rate is R28.66/US$1). Other investors will be flocking in to update and enhance production as soon as a company gets firmly established.

Though many parts of Russia are of major investment interest for several years now, a majority of industrial companies have not grown competitive enough, said Sergei Ivanov of Mr. Vasilyev's committee. Too many companies cannot get properly adjusted to the free market. Their management is inefficient, and they have no explicit development strategies. Whatever strategies they offer are badly substantiated economically. With all that, there is small chance to make rapid progress, update production, and put out competitive commodities.

Several Russian regions have blueprinted programmes to reform manufacturing companies, added Senator Ivanov. Other parts of the country and other companies ought to emulate the endeavour.

Mr. Ivanov called the federal Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to pay closer attention to industry and be more active than now in drafting regional development programmes.

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