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Russia's economy becomes slightly more competitive in 1 year

September 05, 2013, 16:03 UTC+3

The World Economic Forum on Wednesday released its next Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014

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MOSCOW, September 5 (Itar-Tass) - In the rating of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Russia has risen to the 67th from the 64th place of the total 148, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily writes.

“Such a rise may prove to be just an arithmetic illusion, because this year the total number of the rated countries has increased.” “The main advantages of the Russian Federation - a low national debt, a balanced budget, the lack of an obvious economic downturn - are primarily associated with high oil prices,” note experts interviewed by the daily.

The World Economic Forum on Wednesday released its next Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014. The researchers assess the countries’ condition by the macroeconomic indicators, the development of institutions and markets, quality of infrastructure, education, the competitiveness of companies, business environment, innovation potential, etc.

“In the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Russia has the lowest rating. China is ranked 29th by the WEF, South Africa - 53rd, Brazil - 56th, India - 60th. However, Russia compares favorably with other BRICS member states because it is the only country among them that has improved its positions over the year. China did not change its position. South Africa and India slipped one place. Brazil has slipped eight places,” the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reports.

The top ten world’s most competitive economies are: Switzerland, which has been in the lead in the ranking for the past few years, as well as Singapore, Finland, Germany, the United States, Sweden, Hong Kong, Japan, The Netherlands and Great Britain. The outsiders in the ranting are Burundi, Guinea and Chad.

“Foreign researchers have named the favorable macroeconomic environment among the main advantages of the Russian economy. Russia is on the 19th place by this indicator,” the daily writes.

“Russia has improved its position solely by macroeconomic factors, which are the derivatives of high oil prices,” says an analyst at Allianz Investments Vitaly Kupeyev. “In my opinion, the country’s current position in the ranking is extremely unstable. If oil prices go down, the macroeconomic factors will no longer help us, and Russia’s weak positions by other criteria would come to the fore.” To noticeably improve competitiveness, Russia should seriously address the development of the financial infrastructure, institutions and domestic competition.

Director of the analytical department of the Alpari company Alexander Razuvayev said for his part that in his view, the WEF rating is somewhat politically engaged. “Our economy in terms of GDP volume and purchasing power parity is the fifth in the world and first in Europe. If we count GDP at the official exchange rate of the dollar, our economy is eighth in the world. These positions are backed by figures, and not by the verbiage and biased opinion, as in the case of many ratings,” Razuvayev is certain.

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