MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. Russian economy is still open for international cooperation and needs to enhance the competitiveness of locally made products both domestically and globally instead of promoting import substitution, Counselor to the President of the Russian Chamber of commerce and industry (CCI) Georgi Petrov told TASS Friday.
"I don’t like the term ‘import substitution’ itself, first, because the Russian economy still remains open for expansion of international cooperation, and it is no coincidence that high-priority projects are focused on non-resource exports and international cooperation," he said. "It is necessary not to promote import substitution, but to enhance the competitiveness of our local products. If they are competitive on global markets they will be competitive on the domestic market," Petrov added.
According to Counselor, the dependence of the Russian economy in a whole number of strategically important sectors, including defense industry, food security, medicine assistance security, space industry, is unacceptable. "In all other sectors businessmen can enjoy the opportunity of international trade," he added.
Petrov expects foreign investors to tap Russian regions once they see local businesses developing the country’s territories. He is also optimistic about this year and expects an increase in consumer demand and economic growth in 2017. "Unfortunately, the recession years were long and difficult, but it seems we’ve endured them. In 2017, the economy will recover, hopefully. The previous couple of years have seen a substantial drop in investment in the Russian economy, and the sanctions factor is not the only one here. The thing is that the consumer demand and industrial demand have decreased. However, now everything is being done in order to spur demand," he said, adding though that "businesses still need time and money for development despite the fact that the domestic economic policy is aimed at supporting the local producer and import substitution."