Medvedev vows to turn Russia into stronger economic power

By Xinhua,

Moscow : During the 12th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum running from June 6-8, thousands of representatives of the global elite discussed economic issues ranging from the national economic interests to the future development of Russia.

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As a major economic forum held annually in the region, the year’s forum also marked the first post-inauguration international event for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who pledged to turn his country into a stronger economic power.

In his speech to the forum opening, the president said Russia wishes to take part in forming new rules of game in the world economy.

“Russia is a global player today. Understanding our responsibility for the fate of the world, we wish to participate in forming new rules of game, not because of the notorious imperial ambitions, but because we have official opportunities and resources here,” he was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

He also said the role the United States has played in the world economy does not correspond to its true capabilities, describing this as one of the key reasons behind the current global financial crisis.

Moreover, Medvedev said the growing economic nationalism of some countries is affecting world economic development.

Some countries were seeking to protect their economic sovereignty and gain maximum advantages for their citizens without sharing these benefits with their neighbors, he said.

“I don’t think that such a strategy is the best solution to all problems in the current crisis,” Medvedev said.

Recalling the task of “ensuring Russia’s transition to an innovative model of development and to get on the list of the world’s top five economies by 2020”, which had been set forth by the Kremlin, Medvedev said Russia needs more long-term investment to achieve the goal.

Last year, the inflow of investment in the main assets increased by 21 percent from that in 2006, which marked a doubling of the rate on the year, he said.

“If we stabilize this encouraging tendency, we’ll be able to lay solid grounds for a further diversification of the economy and, more importantly, for its changeover to a new technological format,” he went on saying.

While foreign direct investment in the country’s gross domestic product was no more than 5 percent of the total — mostly in the retail, construction and raw material sectors, Medvedev said the government has taken certain steps to change the situation, among others, a bill on regulating foreign investment has been passed.

Meanwhile, Medvedev said that Russia would soon adopt a plan to turn Moscow into a global financial center and the national currency, the ruble, into a leading regional currency.

“The transformation of Moscow into a powerful world financial center and the ruble into a leading regional reserve currency are the key components called upon to ensure the competitiveness of our financial system,” he said.