Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.
Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS
The Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation shared in an interview with the Chinese media company CGTN his vision of the national economy and his forecasts for its future. Here you have the most striking statements.
ON THE GROWTH OF THE ECONOMY
We are taking measures to neutralize the consequences of sanctions: we help people, we increase their financial benefits, their salaries, we help needy pensioners, we help companies that are in a difficult situation. And gives its results. If last year the economy contracted by 2.1%, this year we expect a recovery of more than 2.5%, perhaps even more. We can say that we will recover the fall that occurred in the last period.
Although our inflation has increased, we expect it to remain at the 6% level this year. In subsequent years, our target (target indicator, – Ed.) is 4%, and we and the Central Bank will take all necessary measures to ensure that inflation falls to the level of our planned values.
ON UNEMPLOYMENT AND THE REAL INCOME OF THE POPULATION
The industry is developing well, investments are growing, because a number of companies are leaving foreign ones, and our Russian companies with Russian capital are coming to this place, taking up those industries that previously included foreigners. Therefore, the dynamics of economic growth is recovering, investments are growing, the real income of the population is increasing, and wages are rising. Now we have a minimum unemployment rate of 3%, something that has not happened in the last decades. All of this creates the foundation for real income growth both this year and next. And this is the most important thing: that our people can have a good income and, to a lesser extent, notice the restrictions that our country has faced.
ON THE SINGLE CURRENCY OF THE BRICS COUNTRIES
We see that the situation with currencies, such as the dollar and the euro, creates certain risks. Even in relation to Russia’s economic agents (asset freeze, termination of agreements), confidence in such currencies is undermined. Therefore, within the framework of the BRICS association (an economic association of five states: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, – Ed.), we are looking for opportunities to create alternative types of payments. First of all, these are, of course, national currencies. Take, for example, the agreements with China: 70% of trade is in national currencies. We are increasing this momentum with other countries in our association. Second. We see the possibility of creating unified settlement systems. It can be a unit of account for the BRICS member countries. Not a single currency, as in the European Union, but a unit of account, as an alternative to the dollar. You can express the cost of supplies of basic products, so as not to depend on a single currency or that center of issue, which is not clear how and in what volumes issues banknotes (issuance – issuance of money into circulation, which leads to an increase in the money supply, – Ed. .). In order not to depend on how the situation will develop with the inflation of the dollar, with the inflation of other so-called reserve currencies.
WHY MANY COUNTRIES WANT TO JOIN THE BRICS*
BRICS is an association of today’s largest countries. We even see that the share of the economies of the BRICS member countries has exceeded that of the G7 (we are talking about the so-called G7, which includes the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Japan – Ed. ) . And the dynamics of this growth is increasing. Therefore, we can say that from an economic point of view, it is a community of countries that are developing rapidly and increasing their trade volumes. And what is most important, this economic cooperation is carried out in a depoliticized way, based on mutual benefit. There is no dominance here, there are no political and, of course, economic disagreements. Therefore, we can say that this is a community of friendly countries, whose goal is to improve the conditions of their people and develop economic potential.
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE BRICS FOR RUSSIA
These are our main economic partners. And, of course, when it comes to the development of trade, investment cooperation and the service sector, today the vector of Russia is shifting mainly from West to East. And the countries that are our main trading partners are all in the BRICS.
*23 countries have already submitted applications for BRICS membership and in 2024 the alliance will increase to 11 states.
Goodbye dollar: What is the single currency of the BRICS countries and when will it appear?
Economist Koltashov: BRICS single currency can be pegged to gold (more)