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Ex-World Bank chief throws cold water on Russia’s growth plans

Former World Bank chief James Wolfensohn said on Friday that by 2050 Russia will be only the world’s ninth largest economy, despite the leadership’s goal of bringing the country into the top five in 12 years.

In January, former president Vladimir Putin set the ambitious task of joining the world’s five leading economies by 2020. Wolfensohn told an international conference on corporate management and globalization in Moscow that the top five economies in 2050 would be, in order, China, India, the US, Indonesia and Japan. These countries will be closely followed by Germany, the UK, France, Russia and Vietnam, he said.

The World Bank calculated Russia’s nominal GDP for 2007 at $1.29 trillion, putting the country in 12th place globally, close behind Brazil. During his presentation, Wolfensohn stressed the need to develop market competition in Africa under international rules and standards, calling it a difficult but necessary task. (