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Russia Moves to Increase Productivity by 50%

Published: July 11, 2014 (Issue # 1819)



  • Engineers working on a jet engine at the Salyut plant in Moscow.
    Photo: Denis Grishkin / Vedomosti

In an effort to transform Russia's oil-dependent economy into a sustainable engine of growth, the government has unveiled a series of legal and financial measures aimed at fulfilling President Vladimir Putin's ambitious pledge to increase Russia's labor productivity 50 percent by 2018.

Approved Wednesday and published online Friday, the government's plan dictates a series of equally ambitious industry benchmarks that would see productivity in the aviation industry more than double by 2018. Productivity at small and mid-size industrial enterprises is intended to climb by nearly 50 percent, while productivity in construction is expected to rise by 30 percent.

These targets far exceed the government's earlier forecast for the same period, which anticipates productivity as a whole rising just 1.1 percent in 2014, 2.1 percent in 2015 and then gradually escalating to a total increase of about 13 percent by the end of 2018.

Productivity in Russia is now less than half that of Germany, less than 40 percent that of France and just 28 percent that of the U.S., although it still exceeds the levels of China, Brazil and India, according to a study published in April by the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics.

State attention has been firmly fixed on the issue since 2012, when Putin during his third inauguration set the government the formidable task of raising productivity 50 percent across the Russian economy by 2018.

But so far progress has been slow, with productivity economy-wide rising just 3.8 percent in 2012, according to the study.

In May, Putin once again called for a drastic overhaul of Russian industry as the key to sustainable economic growth.

"Russia needs a real technological revolution, a serious technological renewal, we must perform the most sweeping technological upgrade of our enterprises in the last half decade," Putin said in a speech to domestic and foreign business leaders at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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