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Russia to become world's 6th largest economy in 2008

Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Russia will become the world's sixth largest economy by the end of 2008.  

"For the past eight years, Russia has been developing. By the end of this year, we will become the world's sixth largest economy," Shuvalov was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying at the 12th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Russia, which joined the G8 in 1998, has now "become a fully-fledged member of the world's largest economies," the deputy prime minister said.

"We are beginning to put behind us the severe crisis of the last decade, and have given ourselves new goals - to become a country with developed institutions, a modern democracy with a post-industrial economic structure, and to build a global financial center," he said.

As to the government's future role in the economy, Shuvalov said the government will scale down its dominant role in the economy. "Reducing excessive state interference in the economy is now an important factor," he said.

However, he added that new state companies would be established in the future. "We believe they are needed to act where market agents are not able to act independently. We will create them in such a way that they will work entirely openly, under the rules of corporate governance," he said.

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, running from June 6 to June 8, is a major economic forum in the Commonwealth of Independent States, central and east Europe region, held annually in June. (Xinhua)