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    Economic growth could reach 6% if business had more confidence in authority

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    MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref said Thursday that economic growth might reach 5.8%-6% given improved investment climate and more confidence in authority on the part of business.

    "We forecast a GDP growth of 5.8% next year, 5.9% in 2007, and 6% in 2008," Gref told a government session. The minister said the tax burden on the economy should be reduced, administrative expenditures cut, and conditions for the development of small and medium business created.

    These measures would help domestic producers become competitive and satisfy the constantly growing domestic demand. If this does not happen, "economic growth will not exceed 5%-5.4%."

    Increasing the economic growth rate is important in light of the goal that President Putin set of doubling the GDP by 2012. Experts said an average annual GDP growth of 7.2% was necessary to achieve this goal.

    The GDP grew by 4.7% in 2002, by 7.3% in 2003, and by 7.1% in 2004. The Economic Development and Trade Ministry forecasts a GDP growth of 5.8% this year.

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