MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti) – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday he would offer a state prize for anyone who could find a method of ridding the Russian economy of its dependence on raw materials in the next few years.
“I cannot but agree with you that the raw materials model … has driven our country into a dead end,” Medvedev said in the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, where he delivered a report on the government’s work over the past 12 months.
“Our task is to leave this model behind… If you offer a version that would help us to exit this model over the next few years, I will nominate you for a state award. But I don’t think such a version exists,” Medvedev said in response to deputies’ criticism of the country’s raw materials-based economy.
Medvedev said the Russian economy’s raw materials model had evolved over the course of decades.
“As a result of this, we are heavily dependent on hydrocarbons and it is not easy to quit this [model]. But we need to address the problem, and in this respect I fully support the view we need to do it and we need to do it quite quickly,” he said.
The Global Strategic Survey 2030 report, prepared in late 2012 by Russian economists from the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, one of the world’s top 25 think tanks according to international ratings, said that Russia's economy will remain primarily based on raw materials production until 2030, along with the remnants of the high-tech sphere like the nuclear and space industries inherited from the Soviet era.
Russia's newly appointed Central Bank chief Elvira Nabiullina said last week that Russia needed to rethink its commodity exports-based growth model, with a new emphasis on internal sources of development, diversification of the country’s raw material-based economy, increased investment and improvement in the investment climate.