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Russia's economy not competitive?

Russia is among the world's leading emerging economies, but remains uncompetitive. That's according to a recent report by the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School.

Russia's economy has progressed in the last couple of years – but not enough, according to Christian H.M. Ketels at the Institute for Strategy and Economy. He says Russia is not on the right track to fulfil its economic potential.

“The country is really not on the right track to fulfil its economic potential. Russia can do much better, Russia could develop into a much stronger economy. But to do so we feel that something has to be changed,” he said.

Russian companies are moving onto the global business stage by improving their operational strategies. But they are not regarded as having distinct advantages or unique strategies.

According to Ketels, “the culture of buying assets and market shares rather than thinking about how you can be more innovative and efficient. That has to change over time for Russia to become a more competitive economy.”

The report points to poor administrative practices in carrying out government policies as a main area of weakness in Russia.

However not everyone agree with this. Andrey Klepach from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade says Russia's low competitiveness scores call the objectivity of these ratings into question.

He says the situation in the country is changing but the indexes remain at the same level.

Deputy Economic and Trade Minister Kirill Androsov says there was nothing new in the report for Russia. But he conceded that Russia was 'weak at execution', and needed to co-ordinate and implement all of its strategies and documenting procedures.

Russia has experienced solid growth per capita and improved its macroeconomic management. However this growth has been significantly driven by oil prices.

Analysts say a higher level of competitiveness may be achieved as Russia reduces its dependence on energy.