President's advisor optimistic about Russia's economic growth

Annual growth rates of 8 to 10 percent are quite realistic for the Russian economy, Andrey Illarionov, the Russian president's economic advisor, noted at a press conference in St. Petersburg. He commented on a 3.7-percent industrial production rise in Russia in 2002 and noted that an 8 to 10-percent economic growth rate could be achieved by a reduction in expenses over a long period of time. In the event authorities continue to use the current methods to regulate the national economy, the industrial production rise in 2003 will be lower than in 2002, Illarionov forecasted.

The economic advisor noted that economic results for 2002 were lower than earlier forecasts by 4 percent and more, and these results were significantly lower compared to the previous two years. Russia was in 10th or 11th place in economic growth among the twelve CIS states while it was in 3rd place in 1999. Meanwhile, in the volume of industrial production Russia is still the largest among the CIS states.

Illarionov noted that the further development of the Russian economy depends on the adequate policy of Russian authorities who had a chance to keep the industrial production rise in 2003 at the level of 2002.

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