The process of the consolidation of the most important (strategic) sectors of the economy in the hands of the State or under its control was continued. Recent years have demonstrated that there exist two fundamental models for restoring state control over the key assets Ц through court proceedings (the УYukos modelФ) and through buying Ц out3. The Yukos precedent performed its demonstrative func tion, and last year the second model was the absolute leader. The most vivid exam ple of this is the penetration of УGazpropmФ into the project УSakhalin 2Ф, which was accomplished through buying Ц out a controlling block of shares from western cor porations. The same trend can be traced in the formation of the УUnited Aircraft Building CorporationФ. Finally, there emerged an idea that a draft law designed to See: Ekonomicheskaia politika 2005 g.: opredelenie prioritetov (The economic policy of the year 2005: the determination of priorities) / Rossiiskaia ekonomika v 2005 g.: Tendentsii I perspektivy (The Russian economy in 2005: Trends and prospects). Vyp. 27. Moscow: IEPP (IET). 2006.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks regulate the access of foreign capital to the Russian production assets should be put forth.
In the year 2006, there were some significant changes in how Russia posi tioned itself on the international arena. Two opposite tendencies could be observed in this regard. On the one hand, the process of RussiaТs entry into the structures of the contemporary world was going on. On the other hand, it became obvious that RussiaТs relations with the western world Ц or, to put it differently, with the devel oped market democracies were worsening.
The first tendency was related to the continuation and completion of the proc esses which began rather long ago. It was manifested by the negotiations concern ing RussiaТs joining the WTO and by her chairmanship in the G8, which passed more or less successfully (or, in any case, without any excesses). One should also note the liberalization of the exchange regulation in the part relating to capital movement, which formally made the rouble a fully convertible currency (in contrast to the convertibility of the rouble for current transactions (or current account con vertibility)), introduced as early as 1992). However, these developments and ten dencies have not become, so far, a factor of RussiaТs integration in the communi ties of developed market democracies.
The second tendency, unfortunately, is a reflection of the existing problems Ц the cooling off (and even the deterioration) of the relations with the EU, and the criti cism of the latest political tendencies of RussiaТs development as being contrary to the principles of democracy. Additional difficulties are being created by RussiaТs in tention to rearrange its tariff policy in respect of the pricing of energy carriers, which became obvious last year. An attempt at switching over to international prices in Rus siaТs relations with her CIS partners causes not only the resentment of the latter (which is quite understandable), but also criticism on the part of other European countries who consider this attempt both as the blackmailing of the former Soviet re publics and as the source of risks for the security of their own energy supplies (be cause the oil and gas pipelines pass through the territory of the countries for whom the tariffs are being raised). Also, the situation is becoming especially difficult for Russia because, within the framework of her chairmanship in the G8, the slogan of energy security was put forth as one of the key issues on the agenda. And, according to RussiaТs western partners, it is precisely this demand that is being undermined by the revision of tariffs for gas supplies to the Уnear abroadФ.
Table Major economic indicators of the post Ц crisis period (1999 Ц 2006) 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006* 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 GDP (as percentage of previous year)) 106.4 110.0 105.1 104.7 107.3 107.2 106.4 106.Index of industrial growth (as percent 111.0 108.7 102.9 103.1 108.9 108.3 104.0 103.age of previous year) Agricultural products of farms of all categories (as percentage of previous 104.1 107.7 107.5 101.5 101.3 103.0 102.4 102.year) Investments in fixed capital Section The Socio Political Background 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Billion roubles 670.4 1165.2 1504.7 1762.4 2186.4 2804.8 3534.0 4482.as percentage of previous year 105.3 117.4 110.0 102.6 112.5 110.9 110.5 113.Foreign investments** (billion USD.) 9.6 11.0 14.3 19.8 29.7 40.5 53.7 55.including:
Direct investments 4.3 4.4 4.0 4.0 6.8 9.4 13.1 13. Portfolio investments 0.031 0.145 0.451 0.472 0.401 0.333 0.453 3. Other investments 5.3 6.4 9.8 15.3 22.5 30.8 40.1 38.Foreign trade turnover in billion USD 115.1 149.9 155.6 168.3 212.0 280.6 368.9 468.as percentage of previous year 86.9 130.2 103.8 108.1 126.0 132.4 131.5 127. export of commodities in billion USD 75.6 105.0 101.9 107.3 135.9 183.2 245.3 304.as percentage of previous year 101.5 139.0 97.0 105.3 126.7 134.8 132.9 125. import of commodities in billion USD 39.5 44.9 53.8 61.0 76.1 97.4 125.3 163.as percentage of previous year 68.1 113.5 119.8 113.4 124.8 128.0 128.7 129.Budget revenue (as percentage of GDP) consolidated budget 25.2 28.5 29.3 32.1 31.1 32.3 36.1 35. federal budget 12.7 15.5 17.8 20.3 19.5 20.1 23.7 23.Budget expenditure (as percentage of GDP) consolidated budget 26.3 25.6 26.4 31.1 29.7 27.8 27.5 27. federal budget 14.0 13.1 14.8 18.9 17.8 15.8 16.3 16.Budget surplus / deficit (Ц) (as per centage of GDP) consolidated budget Ц1.1 2.8 2.9 1.0 1.4 4.5 7.7 8.federal budget 1.1 2.4 3.0 1.4 1.7 4.3 7.4 7.Retail trade turnover (as percentage of 94.2 109.0 111.0 109.3 108.8 113.3 112.8 113.previous year) Consumer price index (as percentage of 136.5 120.2 118.6 115.1 112.0 111.7 110.9 109.December of previous year) Industrial producersТ price index (as percentage of December of previous 170.7 131.9 108.3 117.7 112.5 128.8 113.4 1110.year) Total number of unemployed, by end 9.4 7.6 6.4 5.8 6.2 6.0 5.7 5.of period, million persons Average money income per capita, 1658.9 2281.1 3062.0 3947.2 5170.4 6410.4 8023.2 per month (in roubles.) Real available money incomes (as per centage of corresponding period of previ 87.7 112.0 108.7 111.1 115.0 110.4 111.1 110.ous year) International reserve assets (by end of 12.5 28.0 36.6 47.8 76.9 124.5 182.2 303.period, billion USD) Aggregate volume of resources in Sta bilization Fund of Russian Federation billion roubles 522.3 1 237.0 2346.billion USD 18.8 42.3 89.*preliminary estimate Source: Rosstat, RF Central Bank.
1.1.2. Problems of economic growth The issues of economic growth remained among the leading ones in the eco nomic Ц political discussions of 2006. However, the debates on these issues have undergone a certain transformation.
What we see now is an apparent de politicization of the issue: owing to the fact that none of the principal (or alternative) models has been chosen by the top officials to be the universal one for public use, the adoption of decisions on con crete measures within the framework of these models and the discussion of their justifiability have shifted to individual interested agencies and their branches. At the same time, the issue of Уdoubling the GDPФ is slipping off to the perophery of the discussion, and although it has not been discarded officially, the political elite is certainly becoming disinterested in the matter. This development can only be wel comed, because any fetishism with regard to quantitative indices can only de stimulate real growth accompanied by structural reforms.
The models of growth and the attitude to industrial policy In recent years, there emerged four major approaches to economic growth consolidation Ц the dirigiste (on the basis of state investments), the УchibanisticФ (through the active development of financial and industrial groups), the consis tently liberal (advocating a dramatic diminishment in the burden imposed on the economy by budget and regulation), and the institutional (through the formation of a modern institutional environment, approximated to its western analogues)4.
The obvious completion, in 2006, of the active discussion between the propo nents of each of these models resulted in no approach gaining the upper hand be came. The economic policy being pursued in Russia contains elements of all four approaches toward the consolidation of economic growth. The regulatory and in vestment activity of the State is on the rise. Financial and industrial groups, espe cially those under state control, are becoming stronger, and the typically Russian feature is their being controlled by the State not only de facto (as in the case of South Ц Korean chibans), but also formally, because the controlling blocks of See Mau, V. Ekonomiko Ц politicheskie itogi 2002 g. i osobennosti ekonomicheskoi politiki v preddverii vyborov (The economic and political results of the year 2002 and the peculiarities of eco nomic policy on the eve of the election) / Rossiiskaia ekonomika v 2002 g.: Tendentsii i perspektivy (The Russian economy in the year 2002: Trends and prospects). Vyp. 24. Moscow: IEPP. 2003.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks shares in the leading financial and industrial groups are either already owned by the State or moving in this direction. At the same time, the task of reducing the budgetТs share in GDP remains a part of the official policy. Although in the past two years this indicator has been growing, the three year budget planning is oriented to reducing it in the medium term. And finally, the core of the GovernmentТs policy is undoubtedly the formation and strengthening of the institutions typical of modern market democracies.
In other words, at the present time the cornerstones of state policy are as fol lows:
Х macroeconomic and political stability;
Х the development of modern market institutions;
Х an active participation of the State in the organization of economic life.
However, the question of just how stable such an economic and political con figuration can be, remains open. Naturally, it will be stable as long as the external economic situation is making it possible to combine macroeconomic stability with state interference. This situation can last for a long time, but not forever. And the choice will finally have to be made of the sequence in the preferential treatment of each or some of the models of growth.
In 2006, the stimulation of industrial growth was one of the most crucial issues in government discussions. Prime Minister M. Fradkov even put forth a proposal that a special government commission for dealing with the issues of industrial pol icy should be created. The characteristic feature of this discussion was that it was related not to the decline in the rate of growth but to the dissatisfaction with the growth being produced primarily by the sectors of trade and services, and not by the operation of high Ц tech companies.
However, the accelerated development of the services sector is a justified re sponse to the structural heritage of the Soviet economy; moreover, it can be con joined with the development of high technologies. Thus, the purchases of informa tion technologies (IT) by big Russian trading organizations are comparable to the expenses on IT in the oil and gas sector5. It should also be borne in mind that in the USA the retail trade leaders have accounted for approximately 50 % of the US ad vantage over Europe in the rise in productivity over the past 10 years (another 25 % is accounted for by a similar progress achieved by wholesale chains of supply)6.
The issue of industrial policy has been periodically arising in political discus sion throughout the fifteen years of post Ц communist development. Whenever the case in point was industrial policy, it was understood, as a rule, as the determina tion of priority sectors and industries by the State, and the various form of support to them, mainly through financial injections from the budget. Such an industrial pol icy has featured in a number of developed countries, so Russia is not unique in this respect. It has its roots in the industrial past, in the epoch when large industrial firms were the leaders, and when it was possible to define, with a sufficient degree of precision, the most promising sectors and industries. In the industrial epoch it See CNews Analytics, 2006.
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