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  Monday, June 17, 2019
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The Russian government aims to ensure the ruble's moderate appreciation
The Russian government aims to ensure the ruble's moderate appreciation, slow inflation to 8% in 2006 and 5.5% in 2008 (10% in 2005) and full foreign exchange liberalization, Russia's finance minister said today at a meeting with major international investment companies. "Russia will maintain positive growth rates at 5.5%-6% per annum in the next three years," Alexei Kudrin told representatives of thirteen leading investment corporations who had arrived in Moscow on the invitation of state-run Vneshtorgbank. Economic growth will contribute to a favorable investment environment and will come with stable and projected macro-economic indices, he said. Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) was also a priority, Kudrin said and added that this move was very important for investors. "We want any products made in Russia to have free access to global markets. Therefore, we will strictly observe WTO rules after we join the organization," Kudrin said. The minister also said that the Russian Stabilization Fund established to accrue surplus revenues from oil exports was an appropriate instrument to pay early Russia's debts to the Paris Club of Creditor Nations to boost economic growth and save on expensive interest repayments. He said the Stabilization Fund currently had 950 billion rubles ($33.24 billion, or 27.39 billion euros). The finance minister said that Russia's foreign debt stood at about $100 billion and had to be reduced. At the same time, the country could annually save from $1 billion to $1.5 billion on interest from early debt payment, he added. The finance minister informed investment majors about social and economic reforms in the country, in particular, pension, banking and tax reforms, stock market regulation reformation and the replacement of benefits in-kind with cash payments
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