Sonin: The average annual growth rate for Russia over 2008-2017 was 1.2 percent

PONARS Eurasia
01 Mar 2019

(Moscow Times) On Feb. 28, a Russian court denied bail and house arrest for U.S. citizen Michael Calvey, who was jailed two weeks earlier on alleged fraud charges. For over two decades, Calvey has been one of the country’s most respected foreign investors.

Facing an outcry at home and abroad, the Kremlin might now have misgivings. Perhaps this case will help focus minds on the value of foreign investment and reform for Russia’s economic future.

Since 1994 Baring Vostok Capital Partners, which Calvey founded, has invested over $2.8 billion in 80 companies in Russia and other countries in the former Soviet Union. On February 16 a Moscow court ruled that Calvey would be held in pre-trial detention for two months. [...]

In the address Putin also emphasized, “we need a high rate of economic growth.” Since the global financial crisis of a decade ago, Russia’s economy has faced near-stagnation.

According to University of Chicago economist Konstantin Sonin, the average annual growth rate over the 2008-2017 decade was 1.2 percent. “Boosting growth will be impossible without deep structural reforms.” This year the economy may grow by 1.5 percent, according to the World Bank. [...]

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