Putin's Vision: Economic Reforms, Regional Growth, and Currency Shifts

Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined significant economic reforms aimed at reducing imports, increasing the use of non-Western currencies, and expanding the domestic stock market. He proposed decentralizing major company headquarters to boost regional economies and emphasized the need for professional education to mitigate labor shortages.

Reuters | Updated: 07-06-2024 20:10 IST | Created: 07-06-2024 20:10 IST
Putin's Vision: Economic Reforms, Regional Growth, and Currency Shifts

* Putin says imports must be reduced

* Russia is reducing use of Western currencies, he says

* President calls for expansion of domestic stock market

(Adds quote in paragraph 4, praise for RusHydro, paragraph 5, other participants, paragraphs 11-12) ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 7 (Reuters) -

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the idea of moving the headquarters of major companies to regions outside Moscow deserved attention, and called for better professional education to help alleviate a labour shortage. Setting out a host of ambitions for Russia's $2 trillion economy, Putin said the world's second largest oil exporter needed to cut imports, significantly boost the use of non-Western currencies in trade settlement and called for a major expansion of domestic financial markets.

Putin said Russian regions outside the capital needed to have more economic opportunities and that plans were being discussed to move the head offices of major corporations and state companies to the regions. "The idea certainly needs to be worked out, but it deserves attention and support," Putin said at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

He praised RusHydro, one of the world's biggest producers of hydro-electric power, which is moving 1,500 head office jobs to the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk. Putin said trade with Asia was soaring and that nearly 40% of Russian external trade was now conducted in roubles as the share in U.S. dollars, euros and other Western currencies declined.

Russia should reduce its imports by creating competitive production and boosting investment in fixed assets by 60% by 2030, Putin said. He added that the value of the Russian stock market should double by the end of the decade and amount to two thirds of Russian gross domestic product (GDP).

Russia's economy has defied Western sanctions imposed on it over the war in Ukraine, which began in February 2022. Its official growth forecast for 2024 is 2.8% after expanding 3.6% last year - faster than the United States or the European Union. The rebound has been helped by Moscow's heavy spending on defence and security, but economists say the growth relies on state-funded arms and ammunition production. The economy is also being hampered by labour shortages that have been exacerbated by a military mobilisation in 2022 and the emigration of hundreds ot thousands of people since the start of the Ukraine war.

Putin spoke on a stage with Bolivian President Luis Arce and Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a fact that underlined Russia's growing economic ties with countries in Latin America and Africa. The panel was moderated by Sergei Karaganov, an influential Russian analyst who last year proposed a limited nuclear strike on a NATO member in Europe to force the West to back off in the conflict over Ukraine and thus avert World War Three.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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