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Situation in Russia

* Russian politics gained considerable stability after Vladimir Putin became president in 1999. * Country managed to maintain 5.2% growth in 2008, the Russian economy contracted by 7.9% in 2009. The Russian economy recovered in 2010, however, registering a growth rate of 3.9%. * Key Factors

* But despite its established and seemingly stable political structure, Russia is considered to be one of the most corrupt nations in the world. * Russia scored 2.1 out of 10 in the 2010 Corruption * Country’s current account surplus reached $72.6bn in 2010, which is an increase of around 47% compared to the previous year. * The new liberal immigration laws brought in many foreign workers, especially from the EU region; indeed, it was reported that the total number of foreign-born individuals who had entered Russia had risen to 14.5 million as of the end of 2008. Immigration laws play a vital role in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and, in Russia's case, they are presently adding to its strengths.

* GDP Contribution by sector: Agriculture | 4.2% | Industry | 33.8% | Services | 62.0% |

Russia has maintained a surplus position since 2000. Improved competitiveness and higher oil prices facilitated a dramatic turnaround in terms of current account, from a deficit of around 0.5% of GDP in 1998 to a surplus of 12% of GDP in 1999. This surplus increased further during 2000 to 18% of GDP. This marked improvement in fortunes facilitated the stabilization of the ruble in international markets. Although export growth remained strong, a bounce back in import demand eroded the current account surplus to 8.5% of GDP in 2002 and 8.2% in 2003. However, increasing oil prices (which rose to more than $30 per barrel for Russian oil) in 2004 saw the current account surplus widen to more than 10% of GDP. Accelerated…...

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