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    Russia may become world's fifth largest economy by 2020 - minister

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    Russia will become the world's fifth largest economy by 2020, if its GDP continues to grow 6-7% per year, the Russian economics minister said on Monday.

    MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will become the world's fifth largest economy by 2020, if its GDP continues to grow 6-7% per year, the Russian economics minister said on Monday.

    "If we maintain GDP growth at 6-7% per year, we'll join the group of the world's five largest economies. We are setting ourselves this goal," Elvira Nabiullina said.

    Russia's Ministry of Economic Development and Trade drew up in November a forecast for national economic development until 2020.

    Under the forecast, GDP is expected to exceed $5 trillion in 2020, given an exchange rate of 30 rubles to the dollar. In 2007, Russia's GDP is predicted to top $1.3 trillion.

    "This figure will be clarified. We will evidently have to revise our oil price forecast upwards," said Andrei Klepach, director of the ministry's department for macroeconomic forecasts.

    According to the forecast, Russia will join the world's five largest economies measured by GDP by 2020, overtaking all other European countries. China is expected to top the list, to be followed by the United States, India, and Japan.

    According to the ministry's report, Russia's GDP will rise by more than 7% in 2007 compared with 6.7% in 2006, driven by growing household consumption and an increase in business activity.

    The World Bank said in a report published in November that Russia's economy is now growing at maximum capacity, boosted by high global energy prices and a strong inflow of foreign capital.

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