Economic growth rates will double in Russia in seven years, says government

The Russian economy growth rates will start climbing in 2007 and will double by 2010, Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin, deputy chairman of the Russian government, said after the cabinet session that discussed the basic parameters of the 2004 budget.

Kudrin recalled that in his address to the Federal Assembly the president set the task of doubling GDP within ten years. He believes that economic growth rates should reach 7-8% beginning in 2007 and 10% in 2010, which is roughly double of the current figure. According to the minister, "this is a feasible goal but its attainment calls for radical economic reforms." Kudrin advocates the reform of natural monopolies, the strengthening of the banking system through the introduction of principles of international accounting, transparency and further capitalisation of banks, as well as the reform of the housing and communal service and budgetary expenses.

"The initial results of these reforms will be felt no sooner than in 2005," said the finance minister. Economic growth rates are climbing already and can reach 6% in 2006. "I am convinced that we will fulfil the tasks set by the president," said Kudrin.

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