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    DOUBLING THE GDP IS POSSIBLE, RUSSIAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MINISTER SAYS

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    MOSCOW, February 18, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russian Minister of Economic Development and Trade Gherman Gref believes it possible to double the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on condition of a favourable world market situation and the carrying out of radical reforms in Russia. He expressed this opinion Wednesday, addressing the students and professors of the National Economy Academy under the auspices of the government of the Russian Federation.

    Gherman Gref said that the last year's economic results, "in a digital expression, have undoubtedly made more realistic the possibility of doubling the GDP." "But the task of doubling the GDP can be accomplished only in carrying out very ambitious reforms, very difficult at that from the point of view of their fulfillment, in the course of all four years and, apart from that, under the lucky world market situation," said the minister. "The absence of at least one of these factors will make it impossible to accomplish this task." Mr. Gref singled out the administrative reform from among these ambitious and difficult reforms. "A further movement towards market transformations is impossible without an administrative reform. This is an axiom," said the minister. "This reform," he added, will concern the executive authority, law enforcement bodies and the judicial system. It must rest on the abolition of excess and duplicating functions of the state and "the removal of the conflict of interests in the activity of bodies of authority." Gherman Gref believes that "duplicating structures and functions exist both in the government and the government apparatus, and also in other executive structures.

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