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Egor Borisov: Regions have received a very good signal

  • Published in Economy
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On June 1, the head of Yakutia, Egor Borisov, took part in the opening of 21st St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the main topic of which is discussion of possible structural reforms in the Russian economy and the search for new balances in the global economy.

The official opening ceremony was preceded by one of the key sessions of the entire Nevsky summit program entitled "Macroeconomic vector: from stabilization to growth." The central figures of this conversation were Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Maksim Oreshkin, Minister of Finance of Russia Anton Siluanov, Chairman of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina and Head of the Center for Strategic Research (CSR) Aleksei Kudrin, who the day before presented President Vladimir Putin with a new program of socio-economic development of the country until 2024.

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The discussion focused on what should be done first of all in the strategic plan,  what priority measures can move the domestic economy  and what it expects in the short term: the continuation of relative stabilization or planned qualitative growth?

As Maksim Oreshkin noted, today the Russian economy already demonstrates a positive dynamics of the gross domestic product by 1.5%, which is a worthy indicator against the background of those forecasts that were made earlier. Moreover, the government has a target scenario with designed growth rates by more than 3% since 2020. To this end, Oreshkin believes, first of all, the country needs a qualitatively new level of investment, lower costs, support for human capital (especially in terms of simplifying the entry of young professionals into the labor market) and digitalization of the economy.

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Aleksei Kudrin agreed that for 2017, GDP growth by 1.5% looks good. However, in 2018 this, in his opinion, will not be enough. Therefore, both the government and the CSR offer fundamentally different approaches related to the implementation of structural reforms. Unlike the head of the Ministry of Economic Development, Kudrin does not attach first-rate importance to investments (because, from his point of view, they will be moderate even under the most favorable conditions) and a factor of active involvement of young labor resources (due to the demographic crisis  the amount of them will inevitably decrease in the next ten years).

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The head of the CSR is convinced that the main key to economic growth should be rise in productivity through an innovative technological breakthrough, the strengthening of non-resource industries. It is essential to increase expenditures on science and education, on the development of human capital in all its manifestations. At the same time, according to Kudrin, the state is obliged to create the necessary prerequisites for this: to form innovative centers, consortia, to expand the share of the private sector in industry.

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In turn, Anton Siluanov believes that there is no need to increase spending on certain areas, as it threatens to imbalance the budget: "It is possible and necessary to support the development of human capital, but what prevents it from doing so in terms of available funds? Much more important is the quality and effectiveness of their use." He urged his colleagues to think more about building a long-term trend to ensure fiscal stability, which sooner or later will inevitably lead to economic growth.

The Chairman of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, added that inflation has fallen very seriously in the country. And this success must now be secured at all costs, ensuring the stability of low inflation as a guarantee of economic recovery.

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The head of Yakutia, Egor Borisov, commenting on the results of the key session, concluded that the dialogue that had taken place gave him good food for thought and analysis.

"Why do we come here? Why are we participating in this forum? In order to better understand and feel the situation, exchange opinions, timely catch some basic trends, discover fresh ideas, new opportunities that can be used in our work and realized in our republic. Yes, the experts who spoke today did not all unanimously agree, at certain points their positions differed. But truth is sprout in discussion. We compare our actions with what is happening in the country and in the world, we are convinced that we are moving in the right course and determining the further priorities. Most importantly - all participants of the forum have more optimism and confidence that another crisis had been passed, and the Russian economy began to restore its former positions. For the regions, this is a significant, very good signal,"- summarized IL Darkhan.