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4 Mar, 2008 04:25

New president to face serious economic issues: experts

Dmitry Medvedev’s landslide victory takes place amid record high oil prices, a rise in Russian consumer spending and an inflow of foreign capital. Meanwhile, economists warn he faces some tough challenges over the next four years.

Sergey Guriev of New Economic School says Putin’s successor won’t have an easy time maintaining Russia’s current economic growth.

“Russia is much richer than 10 years ago, and that’s an achievement of Mr Putin. But it also means that Russia needs to change the growth model from the centralised to more decentralised and innovative. That’s a huge challenge,” Guriev said. 

Diversifying the economy will be the key to Medvedev’s success as a leader, says Chris Weafer of Uralsib. “Now the clock is ticking very loudly and they really need to get on with starting to more effectively diversify the economy,” he said.

Russia's economy has entered the period of the global financial crisis in a relatively good shape. But that doesn’t mean Medvedev can breathe a sigh of relief.

Economists stress he’ll also have to weed out widespread corruption and tackle social inequality if Russia is to become a true global leader during his reign.