Russia - the rising economic superpower
By Dr Srimal Fernando Asia Correspondent
Russia is one destination for which any number of praising words seem inadequate. As the largest country in the world Russia provides access to many European and Asian destinations. Russia, with a population of 143million is ranked sixth peaceful country in the world according to the Global Peace Index (GPI) report of 2012. The country is synonymous with big cities such as the capital Moscow, Saint Petersburg and the easternport city of Vladivostok.
Moscow is situated on the banks of the majestic “Moskva River” and has been a place of cultural and historical importance for centuries. After the October Revolution of 1917 Moscow became the capital of former Soviet Union and of Russia on 12th March 1918. The city is also modern in every sense of the word, from cloud-tickling skyscrapers, world-class hotels with unparalleled service and astonishing scenery. The Red Square is one of the highest-esteemed attractions in Moscow. Of those the most exotic popular places-of-interest in the city other than the Red Squire is the stately twelfth century Moscow Kremlin. Traveling by Trans-Siberian railway 9,259 kilometers East of Moscow to Vladivostok the last major city provides a gateway to many North East Asian countries.
The country has undergone vigorous transformations following the two decades of economic reforms. In recent times the country has had a record of successful economic performances, reflected in strong growth with relative stability. The country benefits from rich natural resources, a diversified agriculture and industrial base and an export-oriented manufacturing sector. It is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world making significant headway into the international markets. The country's highly globalised economy grew at an impressive 4.2 per cent in 2011.
Moreover, the economy benefited from the close cooperation between the public and private sectors. Russia’s strategy for an integrated development of the country has been boosting productivity and moved people in to positions of greater ability. The average nominal monthly wages increased from USD 80 in the year 2000 to USD 810 in 2011. The agriculture and industry continues to employ a significant proportion of the labor force of the country. It is the largest contributor to total the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The country enjoys a diversified service sector, which includes well-developed social, financial, insurance, real estate, transport, corporate, communication services, and tourism.
High levels of investment played a significant role in the economy of the country. The Government encourages foreign direct investments (FDI) and actively pursues the policy on economic liberalization with emphasis on private sector investments. The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation spearheads the country's industrialization. The burgeoning highend industries, Technology, Innovative SEZs, Tourism andRecreational SEZs and Industrial Production of special economic zones (SEZs) of Russia in Lipetsk Region, Tatars tan Republic, Samara Region, Sverdlovsk Region and Titanic Valley yield many opportunities for investment.
The country's main export industries are machinery, equipment, electronics, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and minerals. In recent years the telecommunication sector of Russia has been growing at a fast pace, and the economy benefits from widespread access to communications services. The country is emerging as the world's Information technology (IT) destination. Russia acts as an offshore development centre for several multinational companies in the world. According to Euro set Sales of smart phones in Russia increased by 74 percent year on year to approximately 2.6 million units in the first quarter of 2012. the country's softwear and electronics industry has grown to become a vital node in the global electronics market. Electronics is the major industry underpinning the country's economic growth. With the development of the country's defense industry, Russia has acquired a commanding position in the global market as the world's second largest conventional arms exporter. The defense industry provides direct employment opportunities to over 2.5 million people. The Russian automobile industry employs around 600,000 and is expected to increase its market share in Europe in the next few years.
On the development side, the energy policy of Russia is steered towards increasing the production of nuclear power, hydro-electricity and thermal powered electricity in the country. Russia is expanding its nuclear power production capacity as the fourth largest nuclear energy producer.
Petroleum and petrochemicals was another base of Russia’s industrial and economic life. The countries high economic growth was attributed to the large and growing oil and gas exports. The crude oil, gas and petroleum pipelines remain the main economic driving force of the Russian energy sector. The country is known as a super power in electricity production. The electricity sector in Russia constitutes the third largest power market in the globe.
Russian transport infrastructure is relatively advanced. Having doubled its expressways and road networks in length in recent years, multilane expressways now connect several major cities with more under construction. The country is situated at the crossroads of major railway lines and has an extensive network. The Russian railway tracks exceeding 85,500 kilometers connecting Europe with Asia. The country is also modern in every sense of the word, from its super-efficient Sapsan high speed trains. Russia’s busiest ports are experiencing tremendous growth in trans-shipment and increment of cargo volume during the last two decades. Vladivostok on the Pacific Sea, the Black sea port of Novorossiysk, St Petersburg on the Baltic is some of the main ports handling international maritime traffic. Russia has strong air connectivity with over 1200 domestic and international airports. Sheremetyevo International Airport opened in 1959, Moscow Domodedovo International Airport (DME ) 42 kilometers of southeast of Moscow. Pulkova in St Petersburg and the Vladivostok International Airport in the eastern side of Russia are some of the largest and busiest airports in the country that attract over 100 international airlines. These aviation hubs serve as a base to Aeroflot the flag carrier of the country. Tourism in the country is experiencing sustainable growth for the last three decades due to the country’s natural and historical attractions, which appeal to visitors from all parts of the world. Tourists visiting this beautiful country will find that things they can see are limitless. The country is home to many distinguished foreign tertiary institutions. The most well-known of all are the Lomonosov Moscow State University established in 1755 and the Russian State Medical University (RMU).These universities had played a pioneering role in the development of the modern education system in the country.
Russia is home to many industries and has been an integral part that has built up strong scientific foundation with excellent global connectivity. Russia is a rising super power wanting to be a Global financial powerhouse in the near future.