Despite the “Russian house”, Russian theme at the Davos forum was not even noticeable. Of course, there were meetings and discussions of such important topics as the prospects of the oil market and the development of digital technologies. But there were no discoveries. All the same “notches” that are important for the understanding of the situation in the Russian economy, remained.
Maxim Oreshkin was in Davos on the official Russian delegation with the rank of Minister for the first time. Maybe that’s why his speeches were the most interesting.
The leitmotif was expected the claim that tomorrow will be better than yesterday and today. So, in General, should be. But … first and foremost an economist, and only then, because of the Ministerial portfolio policies. Therefore, economic comparisons, which he in his speeches, operated, and was far more eloquent than can be conceived by himself..
So, the main message of the Minister: “In 2018, the figures can be much better than in 2017”. It is necessary to pay attention to the careful and insidious “can be”. This is really good. The Minister loudly declared that have already achieved growth rates “far above the expectations which were in 2015 and 2016”. But could not admit that “if you compare them with the growth that we had in the mid-2000s, they are two to three times lower”.
Then, of course, there is the issue of oil prices. But if we recognize that Russia’s economy depends on oil prices to such an extent that GDP growth sags after the price in two or three times, it turns out that the government of new antidotes against falling oil prices was never found. Was the insurance funds of oil and gas revenues they helped to pass the crisis of 2009, and they have simply lacked. A floating exchange rate does its job, but to maintain growth it is not enough. So, the government is unable to cope. That is why the Minister comes from the other end: “the Government and the Central Bank were implementing macro-structural reforms. And we can say that the implementation of these reforms in 2017 is over. This means that even if the price of oil goes down, they will not affect the Russian economy as they influence in 2014-2015”.
But again, from puddles to get failed. “The implementation of macro-structural reforms is over” and the base rates projected for the next three years of economic growth, as the Minister admitted, only 2% per annum. So, the task set by the President, is to provide a rate above the world average, and the world economy in 2018 is expected to grow by 3.7%, puts the government in a deadlock, the decision, according to his version, not in principle. Only after an unspecified “several years” growth rate in GDP can reach up to 3.5%. Appeal to complete structural reforms didn’t help.
How here not to recall a sad joke predecessor Oreshkin, Aleksei Ulyukayev made not on the court, and long before him, one of Gaidar”s forum”, the Ministry of economic development we have, in contrast to most economic development.”
… Gave an entertaining passage about the sanctions. In his opinion, today “sanctions are not a question of opposition from Russia, and largely a matter of struggle between us and European companies.””Finance and energy are the areas where Russia and Europe worked closely together and cooperate. And Europeans have actively opposed us sanctions,” — said the Minister.
Of course, sanctions are including a tool of competition between American and European companies. But the fact that “sanctions are not a question of counteraction of Russia”, we cannot agree. That slipped on the political wave and returning to the economy, and recognizes the Maxim Oreshkin. He said that direct foreign investments in the Russian economy in 2017 amounted to $20-25 billion, And could not as an economist to resist the comparisons: “All we have in life is relative”. Decryption followed: “as a percentage of GDP, this figure is more than China, but, on the other hand, they are approximately two times less than Russia had in 2012-2013”. So why is halved foreign investment, is not because of the sanctions? While the sanctions “counter Russia”?
In one Maxim Oreshkin, of course, right. In Davos, he admitted that “just work better”.