The output growth rate will be 6 percent in food industry in 2002 ascompared to the figures reported in 2001 in Russia, according to the reportof the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade "The Forecast ofSocial and Economic Development of the Russian Federation for 2003 and theMajor Parameters of the Forecast until 2005", which was prepared by today'sgovernment meeting. It is pointed out in the report the developmentdynamics of the food industry are substantially impacted by a slow growthof the effective consumer demand, insufficient level of agricultural rawmaterial supply of processing companies and a relatively low laborefficiency at Russian processing companies (2-3 times lower than theefficiency at similar companies in industrial countries). Therefore thegrowth of food product imports is continuing. In 2001 Russia's imports of the major food products grew 23.7 percent ascompared to 2000, while in 2002 the growth of food product imports isexpected to accelerate. According to a pessimistic forecast, the Russianfishing industry will reduce its production volume, which is due to theintroduction of intensive industrial fishing in the 1990s and exhaustedfish resources. The fish product output will be 2.9-3.08m tons in 2003 (adecrease of 0.6 percent - an increase of 4.8 percent as compared to thefigures posted last year). The fish product output is expected to rise bysome 2-8.9 percent by 2005..