Russia’s new government should invest more in education and healthcare to help spur the country’s economic growth, the World Bank’s chief executive officer said on Tuesday.
President Vladimir Putin, in power for 18 years, is widely expected to win a further six-year term in the March election and to reshuffle his government.
World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva said that new political cycle opens opportunities for new policy ideas to be brought forward.
“The key point is investment in people, in education, in health, in quality of social services,” she said.
The government recognises that, (but this is) not yet quite reflected in the share of education and health in GDP,” she added.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the government was considering an overhaul of the tax system, partly in order to generate more funds for investment in education, healthcare and infrastructure.
Russian state spending on education and health each accounted for less than four percent of national output in 2017, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said in an interview last year.
These levels of spending are well below those seen in most Western countries.
The World Bank expects the Russian economy to expand by 1.7 per cent this year, when the global economy is seen growing by 3.1 per cent.
In 2019 the bank sees Russia’s economic growth picking up to 1.8 per cent.