The rate of the Russian gross domestic product's growth has increased by 5 per cent in 2001. This is one of the world's highest rates of growth. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov announced it on Thursday opening a Russian government session, the last this year, which summed up the year. "This year was one of the most stable. We have achieved good results. However, there are some imperfections, as usual," the Prime Minister said. The rate of growth in 2001 falls behind the 2000 rate but still it is rather high, taking into account the serious decrease of the world economy. The dependence of the Russian economy on exports is decreasing but remains rather high. The real income of the population has increased by 6.5 percent, Kasyanov added. However, the rate of the population income growth exceeded the rate of the labour productivity growth in the country. As a result, the Russian industry is not competitive enough and does not meet the consumer demand. Therefore, the import of foreign goods is increasing. While speaking about the state of the Russian industry, Mikhail Kasyanov pointed out the highest level of current assets within the last 10 years which shows the stability of Russian enterprises. According to the Prime Minister, it is very important that natural monopolies which used to be unprofitable are becoming profitable. Russia's positions in the world have also considerably improved, Mikhail Kasyanov stressed. Russia's international rating has again reached the pre-crisis level of 1998. The value of Russia's liabilities has also increased. As far as the domestic affairs are concerned, the Prime Minister is satisfied with the mutual understanding between the Russian government and the parliament. The government's policy principles and the bills drafted by the Cabinet were approved by the parliament. In general, a good basis for speeding up the reforms which have been determined by the President as primary objectives of the state has been laid over the outgoing year, Kasyanov believes.
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