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Jun 19, 2015

President of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin: "The Trans-Eurasian belt RAZVITIE Project Could Become the Locomotive Engine Driving the Economy, Not Only for Russia, but also Neighboring States"

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"We have always said that infrastructure development is the basis for economic development. The IMF agrees with this approach. In advanced economies, increased investment in infrastructure by 1% point of GDP further increases production capacity by about 0.4% in the same year, with a gradual rise to 1.5% in four years, and in emerging economies these numbers are 0.25% and 0.5%, respectively," said President of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin at the session of "New Infrastructure Projects: How to Change the World" at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday.

The president of Russian Railways recalled that, as per the decision of the Russian government, the company carries out major projects such as the modernization of eastern areas, the development of the Moscow transport hub, reinforcing track leading to the ports of the Azov–Black Sea basin, etc.

According to him, the project of modernizing the eastern areas alone will add almost 500 billion rubles to the budget revenues of Russia over a 30 year period, from 650 billion to 1 trillion rubles of additional growth in GRP for the Far East and Trans-Baikal, an additional 394 billion rubles in orders for Russian producers, and the addition of 40 000 construction jobs.

"We have offered to implement the Trans-Eurasian Belt RAZVITIE (TEBR), whose goal coincides with the Chinese project New Silk Road. The leaders of the two countries stressed that these projects do not compete, but instead complement one another. And indeed this is really a megaproject that can be defined not only as an engine of the Russian economy, but also of all the surrounding states who deem it necessary to invest in it," said Mr. Yakunin.

Deputy Economic Development Minister Nikolai Podguzov expressed confidence that investment in infrastructure will be a major driver of economic growth in the coming decades.

"In the 2000s, China provided a growth rate of investment in infrastructure at a level of 8–9% of GDP, and for India it was 6%. In Russia, this figure stands at 3.4%. I hope that the work that we carried out on the structuring of projects and increasing their effectiveness in the future will help increase the rate of investment in infrastructure," said Mr. Podguzov.

In turn, Mr. Yakunin stressed that, in implementing major infrastructure projects, Russian companies need to be able to take ruble loans from Russian banks and the interest rate should be low.

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