The degree of workload of the Russian economy is close to the limit and it does not have resources for further growth today, experts say in a round table discussion on the prospects for Russia's economic development.
Commenting on the three lines of efforts declared by the new Minister of Economics Alexei Ulyukaev to revitalize the economy (non-resource exports, growth in consumer demand, increasing investment), experts noted that there are very few conditions in today's Russia to implement these tasks.
As the chief economist of AFK Sistema Yevgeny Nadorshin said, further capacity building is possible, but hardly effective. In the coming years, unless serious measures are taken, the country will stagnate with GDP growth rates from + 1% to -1%. According to him, production needs investment, but neither the state nor the private sector is ready to take on this function and be responsible for the results. The expert believes that the state, as a more active player, is obliged to take a risk and start supporting business, otherwise the consequences for the economy will be dire.
Valery Mironov, Deputy Director of the Center for Development Institute of the Research Institute of the Higher School of Economics, is sure that to improve the situation with investments in production, a reform of the public sector is necessary, namely, the nationalization of state-owned companies, since at present they do not perform their functions and, according to the Ministry of Economy, regularly thwart investment plans. The expert also spoke in favor of expanding domestic demand and weakening the ruble by 10%.
According to Vladimir Salnikov, Deputy General Director of the Center for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-Range Forecasting, labor productivity is relatively good in the real sector of the economy, it has shown slight growth over the past year, but still remains 2-8 times lower than in developed countries . This is largely due to outdated facilities, whose average age is 18 years.
A positive point, says Maxim Safonov, associate professor of RANEPA, is that the necessary business support institutions have already been created in Russia (the Direct Investment Fund, the Small Business Development Bank and others), but their work efficiency leaves much to be desired.
Experts agreed that there is no reason to expect significant growth in the near future. Yevgeny Nadorshin believes that the authors of the 2014-2016 budget cannot come to terms with economic realities and include in the main financial document an indicator of GDP growth in 2014 at the level of 3,7% in the hope that the existing problems will "resolve themselves." According to the expert, there are very few grounds for such hopes, and therefore the draft budget should be revised taking into account real indicators.