Vladimir Putin: “We see the positive trends in the Russian economy gaining strength”

10:35 17.03.2023 •

Photo: Kremlin.ru

Vladimir Putin took part in the annual congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. The President of Russia made some important points concerning the actual state of Russian economy and cooperation with foreign courtiers:

- These are challenges that neither Russia nor probably any other country in the world has yet faced in modern history.

- Let me remind you that Russia’s maximum GDP decline was recorded last June; I believe it was 4.7 percent. The reasons for this are well-known: the sanctions war and the unprecedented challenges in the global economy and trade as well as in the system of international relations as a whole, and it was not us, as you know, who was creating these problems. Since then – starting last July – our economy, nevertheless, has transited to growth.

- We see the positive trends in the Russian economy gaining strength; in the second quarter of this year, we expect a significant increase in GDP over last year.

- We have managed to compensate for the actual closing of Western markets to us and to expand Russia’s foreign trade contacts with nations in the world’s fastest growing regions… Over the past year, our trade with these regions, with these countries has been growing at double-digit rates and it continues to grow.

- Incidentally, I would like to add for reference that, on the whole, Russia’s 2022 foreign trade surged by 8.1 percent to $850 billion, including exports – by almost 20 percent, 19.9, with imports declining by almost 12 percent (11.7). The trade balance surplus was $332 billion, or 70 percent more than in 2021.

- I would like to mention at this point Russian business executives and their management teams. In a short span of time and in the difficult conditions of external pressure, they managed to rebuild investment and trade chains, develop logistics routes, and open up new areas of cooperation with predictable and bona fide foreign partners.

- Domestic demand is growing fast. Experts estimate that in April, our retail growth rates will be at least 5 percent, and this is a figure in real terms.

- By the end of March, inflation is supposed to be under 4 percent… I will mention for comparison’s sake that inflation here will be lower than in the Eurozone countries, which are endlessly waiting for the collapse of the Russian economy and trying to convince themselves and our partners of it.

- A year ago, Western authorities were twisting the arms of their companies and compelled some of them, many of them to leave the Russian market. At that time, foreign analysts predicted a depression and a decline in the consumer sector for us. They promised us empty shelves in shops. Massive shortages of goods and the collapse of the services sector. However, life took a different turn.

- Now the Western countries themselves have faced these problems in full measure. It got to the point where their leaders suggested that their citizens eat turnips instead of lettuce and tomatoes. Turnips are good produce, but toget them, they will have to come to us because our harvest is much bigger than that of our neighbours in Europe.

- True, this may not be their fault. They had a drought and the like, but they can hardly do without our fertilisers if they want to increase their crop yields. At any rate, this calls to mind a Russian proverb: “He who digs a pit for others falls in himself.” It seems that this is exactly what is happening.

- In Russia, domestic companies began to fill vacated market niches after the withdrawal of certain European and American companies. The situation is similar to the food market eight years ago, when we introduced our own restrictive measures in response to sanctions, and that triggered rapid growth in domestic agriculture and food processing.

- There is something else I would like to note about this new model of economic growth. We must primarily rely on our own technological resources, as well as partnerships with friendly countries to increase production capacities, open new facilities, and create jobs throughout the country. I am well aware of the threats that are arising; I know what the ill-wishers are pointing out to us, that ‘Russia will face problems in the medium term.’ Yes, this is a threat to be reckoned with. But I am absolutely confident that we will overcome it, because this is a medium-term outlook, and I urge you not to wait for the negative consequences of this medium-term threat. To prevent this from happening, you need to act right now.

- Today vast opportunities are opening in Russia for almost every endeavor, every business, for launching promising long-term projects in the consumer market, the high-tech sector, in tourism and many other industries.

- Most importantly, a responsible Russian entrepreneur is a true citizen of Russia who understands its interests and acts in its interests, does not hide assets in offshore accounts, but registers companies here, in our country, and does not become dependent on foreign authorities.

- You know, I often – I have known many people in the audience for many years now, and I often heard them say, “It is safer there.” (in the West) How about now?

- We must understand that the foundation of our existence and the future of our families and our children are here.


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