On December 6, 2019, at 12:00, the Valdai Discussion Club hosted an expert discussion, devoted to the publication the new World Bank report, titled “How wealthy is Russia?”
In 1990s Russia struggled with an economic crisis, the main result of which was a debt default, which led to falling incomes and a lower general standard of living for most Russians. Over the following 10 years, the situation changed radically: Russia's GDP has almost doubled, and the number of poor people as a percentage of the population was cut in half. The financial crisis of 2008-2009 was a new strike created an unfavorable foreign economic atmosphere for the Russian economy.
Despite these several years of economic stagnation, today we have hope for an accelerated pace of development. According to updated World Bank forecasts, the economic growth in Russia will be 1.6% in 2020 and 1.8% in 2021. The contribution of national projects to GDP growth in 2021 is expected to be between 0.2 and 0.3 of percentage point. In the coming two years, the poverty level will continue to decline.
Russia remains a country with vast natural resources, including its forests and mineral reserves. Russians are comparatively highly educated, and has great potential for scientific and technological development.
How wealthy is Russia as a nation? Is the average Russian citizen richer today than 20 years ago? How can one evaluate Russia's wealth in comparison with other countries? What can Russia do to increase its wealth? What is the income distribution among Russian citizens? Participants in the expert discussion answered these and other questions.
Apurva Sanghi, the World Bank's Lead Economist for the Russian Federation;
Anton Struchenevsky, Senior Economist at Sberbank CIB.
Working languages: Russian, English.