FPRI BMB Russia: Russia launches its Strategic Initiatives programme

FPRI BMB Russia: Russia launches its Strategic Initiatives programme
Russia's economy is performing far below potential. The government has launched a "Strategic Initiatives" programme with the overarching goal of improving citizens' quality of life and modernising the economy. Most of the spending for the programme is already in the budget. / wiki
By FPRI BMB Russia October 13, 2021

The Russian government approved a list of 42 strategic initiatives for socio-economic development of the country on October 7. Their aim, according to the official announcement, is “to improve people’s quality of life and make the Russian economy more modern and flexible.”  

To arrive at the initiatives, five working groups analyzed 250 ideas and selected those that will respond to citizens’ real needs, provide tangible results, and further national development goals.

The initiatives are divided into six categories: technological breakthrough (15), social sphere (10), construction (7), digital transformation (5), ecology (4), and the state for citizens (1).  

Each has its own focus: social sphere projects focus on healthcare; construction on improving infrastructure; ecology on waste processing and mineral resources; digital transformation on easing interactions between citizens and government agencies; technological breakthrough on renewing critical sectors of the economy; and state for citizens on making the government more responsive to citizens’ needs.  

Work already began on most of the projects during the summer. Results will be evaluated in 2024 and again in 2030. Until 2024, the projects will cost RUB4.6 trillion ($64bn).  

However, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin emphasized that the vast majority of this financing will come from resources already budgeted, funds from private investors, and money from state-owned companies.  

This means that “new” costs for the initiatives will only amount to RUB740bn ($10.3bn) by 2024. After 2025, the initiatives are predicted to add 0.3% to GDP annually, a goal that Deputy Director of the HSE Development Center Institute Valery Mironov says could only be reached if the projects are “super effective”.  

The World Bank recently revised its forecasts of economic growth in Russia, predicting more growth in 2021 (4.3%, up 1.1pp) but less in 2022 (2.8%, down 0.4pp) and 2023 (1.8%, down 0.5pp).