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Dmitry Medvedev identified the main obstacles to economic upturn

13 January2017
Dmitry Medvedev identified the main obstacles to economic upturn

The main risks and drivers of global economy upswing in the next several years became a subject for a plenary discussion of the Gaidar Forum 2017 “Russia and the World: Choice of Priorities”.

The plenary discussion was opened by the Rector of RANEPA Vladimir Mau acting as a moderator. He read out to the participants of the Forum the Address of Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation. “Your meetings always have urgent and significant agenda, reputable participants, challenging ideas, – said in his address. – I expect that the offers evolved by you and the recommendations will facilitate the solution of social and economic tasks encountered by Russia, will promote strengthening of international cooperation and overcoming general global challenges”. According to Vladimir Mau, today the world is in a point of prioritizing, so this agenda is equally urgent for all countries, however the views on the risks and challenges to be faced by the world community within the next 3–5 years, can be estimated in different ways.

The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev delivered a speech at the Forum. The Prime Minister emphasized that his speech isn't a keynote address. According to him, the economic upturn is interfered by the deficiency in investments and the “paralysis” of credits, at the same time by a common problem – the risk of a long-term stagnation. “It is impossible to restore the economic growth only by means of financial injections, some structural reforms are needed”, – told the Prime Minister, having added that this is what have been talked about for the last 15 years. According to him, the main risk which can be faced by Russia is the lack in technology. “Transition to the digital economy will lead to the revision of a role of the state in economy. It will demand a reform of government machinery that should become more flexible and compact”, – added Dmitry Medvedev. He has also reminded that the Government is working on the action plan for acceleration of economic growth rates, which will allow “speeding up” the national economy to the indicators outperforming the global average.

Speaking about the near-term outlook, David Lipton, the first Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund noted a considerable uncertainty connected both with economic and political factors as such. At the same time, according to him, following the results of 2017 the world economy can show a growth equal to 3,4–3,6%, that is above last year's indicators (3,1%). “The most important now – to try to turn back the trend of economic growth deceleration observed in the recent years both in expanding, and in advanced economies, including Russian,” – he remarked.

Martin Woolf, the editor-in-chief and Chief Economics Commentator at The Financial Times considers that the world economy is gradually recovering, but its further expansion depends in many respects on the new political environment: “The main question is whether the global order will be generally stable, whether there will be open enough cooperation between the states”. Commenting on one of the most important latest political solutions – the Brexit, he noticed that the referendum on the exit of Britain from the European Union shouldn't had to take place. “If earlier I could say that Britain was a moderately mature and moderately democratic country, now I won't say so”, – declared the expert.

Marek Belka, the Prime Minister of Poland (2004-2005), the President of the National Bank of Poland (2010-2016), who named the three fundamental problems of global economy of the last decade, participated in the discussion. “These are structural geographical changes of global economy – the economical upturn of China, a relative decline of Europe and the USA, which have both direct and indirect consequences for the global economy. These are also technological changes, particularly, in IT: financial markets work online, while other sectors of economy don't, this also leads to destabilization and delay of economic growth rates that we have been observing during ten years”, – reckons the politician.

The Prime Minister of Australia (2007–2010, 2013) Kevin Michael Rudd considers that there are more risks ahead, than the growth drivers. In his opinion, first of all, these are the challenges of the international relations, in particular, between the USA and China. Speaking about the international cooperation, the expert reminded of the G20 that was created for a comprehensive overhaul and helped to avoid the transformation of financial crisis into a depression, but couldn't provide a brisk growth of global economy.

Meanwhile, Paul Polman, the CEO of Unilever is sure that the Russian market can be estimated as a healthy one. “We consider that the country is ready for structural changes, it is competitive, seeking to move forward, to develop. We observe that Russia is striving to overcome its dependence on raw export, what is more, for this purpose it gives equal opportunities to all its branches of economy”, – noted Paul Polman.

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