PM sees foreign investment as secondary source for development
MOSCOW, Dec 6 (PRIME) -- Russia does not need to rely on foreign investment in its development since the economy has become stronger since the 90s, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told TV channels at a yearend interview on Thursday.
“I guess, anyone who is even slightly interested in economic development understands a simple thing: a national economy can develop first of all by means of own investment, investment arising from the development of the economy. Foreign investment, with all due respect, with the desire to get them, are a secondary source,” Medvedev said.
“In the 90s we used to say all the time, ‘We are waiting for this company. It would be good if it came. We offered preferences. This was absolutely normal, because our economy was poorly developed. Our economy collapsed after the end of the USSR. The situation is different now.”
Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth amounted to about 1.7% in January–October, but the authorities still plan to attain a 3% rise in 2021.
“This is a figure that we’ve expected. It is small, yes, but nevertheless growth continues, it more or less corresponds to what we have in the European countries for instance,” Medvedev said.
“Ours is the economy of a fast developing country, this is why we should focus on our own development sources.”
He said that he sees 2018 a good year for the economy of Russia.
He added that the 1.7% growth is unsurprising amid a global slowdown in economic rise due to the trade war. The economic haggle between Russia and several other states continues and hurts the Russian economy.
Medvedev promised no prohibition on the use of the U.S. dollar in Russia.
The Russian delegation might go to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos since the position of the organizers has started to change.
Russia will continue to export agricultural goods and hopes to reach the goal of “feeding the whole planet,” Medvedev said, adding that he sees pharmaceuticals as another promising industry.
Medvedev separately said that inflation is to amount to about 3.5% in 2018, meeting the target, Medvedev said.
He said that the conservative forecasts by the Russian authorities created a safety cushion for the Russian economy. “We have just met in the framework of the Eurasian union, I say, ‘Listen, we did it right when we made the most conservative oil forecast.’ We are revising everything downwards in order for the economy to have a safety cushion. Our economy has a safety cushion thanks to these decisions.”
Medvedev said that a decision to raise the retirement age was the most difficult one for the government in decades. “It was obviously a difficult decision. Let’s say frankly, it was the most difficult decision of the authority over the last several decades.”
He said that the growth of Russians’ real income seems modest but the decline has stopped. He said that real wages are expected to rise 7.6% in 2018, “I wish we had more, sometimes 7% is a small amount… it differs whether 7% adds to a big money or to quite a modest salary. But there is growth, which is very important for the economy in general and for a man in particular. This means that we have overcome a trend of income fall. This was the most terrifying, the most dangerous thing for the country.”
Pension growth will continue for at least six years, he said. The government is preparing a plan of reduction of poverty by 2024, he said.
The tax rules in Russia are balanced and will not be changed. He admitted having pressurized oil companies to retain affordable domestic prices for fuel, “Over the last period, due to the oil price rise, our oil companies were offended, they came and said: You know, we don’t earn on the market as much as we expected to. – Has anyone promised them that they will?”
He said he hopes that there will be no need to introduce prohibitive duties for oil companies.