Putin comments on Russia's economic potential

There is "good economic potential" in Russia, which is based not only on raw materials but also on the "good human resources of the country", Russian President Vladimir Putin declared at a session of the World Economic Forum in Moscow today. The President added that there were some difficulties in the country mainly bound to the fact that "the mentality of people had gotten used to a planned economy". In this respect, Putin mentioned that administrative reforms had been launched. Moreover, activities aimed at decreasing the tax burden continue; in particular, the value-added tax is expected to be decreased from 20 percent to 18 percent and the single social tax rate is to be reduced.

Putin noted that, according to estimates of specialists, economic growth in Russia was mainly based on the development of the raw material sector. However, the President believes that Russia develops other sectors too. "Our efforts are aimed at developing processing industries, high technologies, corporate culture and the protection of intellectual property rights," he said. Energy and transportation sectors are actively restructured and preparations for reforms in the gas sector are unfolding currently, Putin added.

"Russia has always been an export oriented country" and the creation of a system of insuring export contracts is the most important task aimed at protecting Russian exports, the Russian leader remarked.

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