During the past 18 to 24 months, the Russian economy has turned around and growth is now picking up, although at a disappointing pace. Instead of 6-7 percent, growth will at best attain 4-5 percent, despite the booming oil industry. Furthermore, the country’s inflation rate rose again, whereas unemployment and currency rates are back at pre-crisis levels and the budget has returned to deficit compared with the pre-crisis surplus of 6 percent. It is becoming increasingly evident that the current growth model, which is centered on high oil prices and leveraged facilities, is no longer ef¬fective. New drivers of growth are needed for Russia to achieve sustainable development in the face of the new challenges that will be faced in the coming decade.
Along with institutional and technological mod¬ernization, Russia must do more to facilitate additional innovation-driven growth. The country needs to come up with a comprehensive national innovation system.
Hermann Gref, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Sberbank
Extract from the foreword to “The Russia Competitiveness Report 2011” (World Economic Forum)