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Andrei Illarionov:"Thirty years - that is the price Russia will have to pay for the mistakes.."
'Thirty years - that is the price Russia will have to pay for the mistakes which we allowed to happen to the economy during the Soviet era and in the years of liberal reforms at the beginning of the 1990s,' according Andrei Illarionov, an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He made the remarks Wednesday during a presentation entitled 'Economic Tasks of the Russian Presidential Message to the Federation Council. According to Illarionov, half of that period will have to be spent reaching the 'starting point of the best year of the Soviet economy,' which was achieved in 1989, and roughly 15-16 years on the forced attainment of the contemporary level of economic development of Malta, the Czech Republic or South Korea. However, warned Illarionov, one should not forget that during that time those countries will also experience economic growth. 'We have every chance within the next eight years to attain a high level of economic growth,' he said. 'But we need not only a high economic growth rate, but a rate that exceeds the indicators of other countries and the global economy in general.' 'If the task of doubling GDP is to be achieved by 2010, then mid-year growth rates have to be 7.2%,' he said. 'If we succeed in achieving the goal in 2010, then it means that the growth rate for the years remaining has to total 9.3%.' In support of the president's aim of doubling GDP, Illarionov introduced world economic practices as an example. 'For the past 50 years, 70 of 140-150 countries in the world doubled their GDP within 10 years by maintaining a growth rate of 7.2% and higher. Given a favorable confluence of circumstances and corresponding economic policies, that can be done in Russia as well,' he said. In addition, Illarionov said the current Russian growth rate was 22% lower than in 1989. However, private consumption has grown by 21% in the past five years.
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