The challenges of the Medvedev era

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Title: The challenges of the Medvedev era
Author: Korhonen, Iikka ; Lainela, Seija ; Simola, Heli ; Solanko, Laura ; Sutela, Pekka
Organization: Bank of Finland
Suomen Pankki
Department / Unit: Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT)
Siirtymätalouksien tutkimuslaitos (BOFIT)
Series: BOFIT Online
Series number: 6
Year of publication: 2008
Publication date: 24.6.2008
Pages: 40 s.
Keywords: talouspolitiikka; Venäjä; politiikka; inflaatio; Suomi; ulkomaankauppa; sääntely; hinnat; energia; yhteiskunta; Bofit-kokoelma
Abstract: Russia now ranks among the world's ten largest economies and continues to experience rapid growth. Industrial investment and real incomes are soaring. Federal finances are in excellent shape, giving the government a welcome opportunity to invest in long-term development of human capital, improvement of living conditions and bolstering of the country's infrastructure. Fixing Russia, however, is not without its challenges. For long-neglected sectors such as health care and education, financial infusions alone will be insufficient to bring change - structural reforms are needed. Double-digit inflation has also returned after slowing throughout most of the 2000s. The rise in prices has been driven by a global increase in food prices, along with a number of domestic factors. Finland has benefited from Russia's economic growth, and exports to Russia have risen rapidly even with the loss of market share to competitors. Energy's significance for the Russian economy remains large and the country has huge opportunities to improve its efficiency of energy use and production through e.g. price deregulation. While the direction is clear, the road ahead for Russia will not be easy. Russia seeks to become a leading global innovator over the medium term - a perhaps overambitious goal given the starting point. Key words: Russia, economy, social issues, foreign trade, energy

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