In this handout photo provided by Photo host Agency RIA Novosti, Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking at a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 16, 2023. (RIA NOVOSTI VIA AP)
ST. PETERSBURG – Russia has successfully maintained economic stability in the face of "unprecedented challenges”, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
"Positive macroeconomic trends are gaining momentum and becoming increasingly apparent," Putin said during a plenary session of the 26th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Russia's GDP could achieve a growth rate of about 1.5 percent to 2 percent this year, which will enable the country to retain its place among the world's leading economies, he said.
The ugly, essentially neo-colonial international system has ceased to exist, while the multipolar world order, on the contrary, is being strengthened.
Vladimir Putin, President, Russia
Inflation stays close to a historical low of 2.9 percent and unemployment stands at a record low of 3.3 percent, according to the Russian leader.
While many foreign brands have long been selling products completely manufactured in Russia, those de facto Russian goods only with foreign logos now continue to be supplied after the departure of the brand owners and profits remain, Putin noted.
He told the audience that Russia continues to pursue an open economy and will never turn onto the path of self-isolation despite all the difficulties.
"On the contrary, we have expanded contacts with reliable, responsible partners in countries and regions that today act as locomotives and drivers of the global economy. I want to repeat: these are the markets of the future," he underlined.
"The ugly, essentially neo-colonial international system has ceased to exist, while the multipolar world order, on the contrary, is being strengthened. This is an inevitable process," Putin added.
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum has been held annually in Russia's second-largest city since 1997, and the theme of this year's event, scheduled from Wednesday to Saturday, is "Sovereign Development as the Basis of a Just World: Joining Forces for Future Generations."