Vladimir Putin took part in the St.Petersburg International Economic Forum’s plenary session
In his address to the St.Petersburg International Economic Forum's plenary session President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin outlined the global economy's main problems today, looked at the issues on the G20 agenda under the Russian Presidency, and noted Russia's efforts to stimulate economic growth and improve the country's investment climate.
* * *
Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, friends,
The moderator began with the problems the global economy faces today, and I will also say a few words about these global problems, but I am sure you would agree that it would only be right for me, as Russia's head of state, to talk about our country's problems and the solutions we propose.
The St.Petersburg International Economic Forum has particular significance this year because it is also one of the big events taking place as part of Russia's Presidency in the G20. Incidentally, I propose that we hold next year's St.Petersburg International Economic Forum on the same lines, in the run-up to the G8 Summit, which Russia will be hosting in 2014.
The cornerstone of the agenda we proposed for the G20 is to take practical and systemic decisions that will clean up the global economy and finance and get them into shape again through growth and development. We can do this by making broader use of advanced technology that improve the quality of life, financial investment, above all, investment in people and social development, and developing high value-added industry that will create effective and modern new jobs. These are the priorities of the Russia's G20 Presidency, and they are also Russia's socioeconomic policy priorities.
The times call for decisive action. It was not by chance that this became the motto for this year's forum. Russia's top priority is to create the conditions for sustained economic growth. For many years we had a situation when prices for our main export goods rose fast and almost without interruption, and this made it possible for Russian companies and for the government too, to cover high expenses.
But this situation has changed now. There are no simple solutions and no magic wand we can wave to change things overnight. What is needed from us now are discipline, the best choice of priorities, and the right balance between working towards long-term goals and addressing current and sometimes urgent tasks.
Economic growth must be based on the three pillars - increasing labour productivity, investment, and innovation. Progress in all of these areas can be achieved only by bringing down financial, management and infrastructure costs, developing human capital, and creating a genuinely competitive environment for doing business.
A comfortable economic environment is also essential for growth. This means macroeconomic stability, further decrease in the inflation rates, responsible budget policy and compliance with the budget rule that we introduced and that is already in effect. For our foreign guests' benefit, let me explain that what this budget rule entails is that extra revenues generated by high prices for our energy exports get put into a reserve fund.
We will stick to the strategic policy we set, and I particularly want to stress that we will continue this policy regardless of the personnel changes at the Central Bank and among officials responsible for economic matters in the Presidential Executive Office and the Government.