Russia can double its GDP in ten years' time, experts say

Experts contend that Russia's gross domestic product will be possible to double in the next decade, and they say they know how. A panel discussion to the effect took place in Moscow on Friday, with politicians and economists among the panelists.

"This is quite a realistic task, albeit an ambitious one," says Georgy Boos, Vice Speaker of the State Duma, or parliament's lower house. "We have prerequisites for this." The task set by the President can be accomplished through innovation and investment, Boos says. According to him, the attention should be focused on the support and development of small and medium-sized businesses and on the legitimisation of the gray market.

A favourable situation on foreign markets will also bring the GDP up, Boos says. The world oil prices will remain within the range of 18 to 22 dollars a barrel in the next few years, he predicts.

Fellow lawmaker Alexei Mitrofanov goes along with Boos on that. He, too, believes that a favourable situation on the world market will allow this country to develop traditional sectors and to increase its GDP. "The important thing is to agree on the rules of the game for the decade to come. There should be one president, one Duma, and the same laws for all," Mitrofanov said.

MP Sergei Glazyev argues that a breakthrough will not be possible unless the priorities are revised. "We should stake not on the export of raw material, but on the development of high technologies, for these to become the driving force behind economic growth," he believes. In his opinion, investments should be channelled primarily into the development of aircraft, space rockets, energy, and bio-technologies, with these latter to further medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. Higher wages and greater consumer demand will also be instrumental in achieving steady economic growth, he says.

Thus, according to expert estimates, Russia's GDP will be possible to double within a decade by bringing the annual growth rate up to 8-10 percent.

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