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7 Jun, 2024 17:43

Russia’s role in a multipolar world: Putin’s address to SPIEF plenary session

Moscow is open to working with all interested parties as the global economy enters an era of drastic changes, the Russian president has said
Russia’s role in a multipolar world: Putin’s address to SPIEF plenary session

The Russian economy has demonstrated growth rates exceeding the world average and is actively adapting to a new emerging multipolar world built on mutual respect, President Vladimir Putin has stated in his address to the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Friday.

The Russian leader was joined on stage by Bolivian President Luis Arce and Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, as well as moderator Sergey Karaganov – a political scientist and emeritus professor from the Higher School of Economics.

During his nearly one-hour-long prepared speech, Putin addressed a number of issues related to the global economy, as well as the country’s achievements and goals for the near future as it continues to establish ties with international players.

SPIEF

Putin announced that this year’s 27th annual SPIEF event was attended by more than 12,000 people from over 100 countries, including the shareholders and CEOs of leading companies, plus renowned experts, analysts, political, public and government figures.

He emphasized that the forum provides a unique opportunity to establish business contacts, launch joint projects, and engage in discussions on current trends in global and regional markets and the latest developments in the modern world.

New world

Countries across the world have entered a race to strengthen their sovereignty on the basis of three key areas – state, culture, and economy, Putin observed, noting that nations who were previously seen as the leaders in global development are struggling to maintain their “elusive role as hegemons.”

Putin stated that the world is experiencing “explosive technological growth in almost all areas of life,” and that China and India have already become leading world economies, while other South Asian and African nations are on their way to becoming key global economic players by the middle of the century.

Russia

Russia has also demonstrated a high level of readiness and adaptability to technological developments, Putin said, mentioning that the country’s financial sector, e-commerce, transport services and the military have already undergone drastic changes to keep up with the times.

Foreign Economic Relations

Russia is striving to maintain its position as one of the key participants in global trade, Putin said, noting that “despite all the obstacles and illegitimate sanctions,” the country continues to actively develop logistics and expand the number of nations and regions it cooperates with. 

He reported that Russia’s trade with Asian countries had grown by 60% from 2020 to 2023, doubled with the Middle East, grown by 69% with Africa and by 42% with Latin America. 

Equal partnership

Putin stressed that Russia aims to build economic relations with other countries based on full-scale technological and industrial partnerships, providing a full life cycle of goods and services with training of national personnel and localized production.

Such an approach, based on equal terms and the transfer of technologies instead of their monopolization, will establish strong and resilient ties between nations, allowing companies to play “the long game,” the president said.

Loss of trust in Western financial system

Putin highlighted that global trust in the reliability of Western payment systems has been “fundamentally undermined,” claiming that this was done by Western countries themselves.

He said that the share of payments for Russian exports in “toxic currencies of unfriendly states” had halved while ruble payments almost tripled between 2021 and 2023, approaching 40%.

New BRICS payment system

Putin stated that Russia is already increasing the use of national currencies in foreign trade, while the BRICS group of nations, which continues to accept new members from across the world, is working to develop its own independent payment system that will not be subject to political pressure, abuse, or external sanctions interference.

Russian economy

Putin reported that Russia’s GDP growth reached 5.4% in the first quarter of this year after recording a 3.6% growth rate in 2023. The president stated that the country has long striven to become one of the largest economies in the world and announced that, according to the latest World Bank estimates, it is now in fourth place in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), overtaking Japan.

Future of Russia

The Russian leader outlined a number of steps the country should take to maintain its growth and remain a key player on the global stage. These steps include strengthening financial, technological, and personnel sovereignty, increasing production capacity and boosting the competitiveness of Russian products in both foreign and domestic markets.

To achieve this, Putin proposed ten structural changes to the Russian economy, such as increasing investments in new projects across the country and strengthening the role of small and medium-sized businesses in economic development, creating new financial tools to incentivize businesses, improving the professional education system, boosting labor productivity through automation and the use of AI technologies, reducing poverty, and improving the quality of life for Russian families. 

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