Russia attracts investors despite its image
Russia's economy has been growing fast during Mr Putin's presidency. As Russia enters a period of political transition, with President Putin's two terms in office coming to an end, is it on track to achieve his goal of doubling the size of the economy? The world's leading gas exporter and one of its largest oil exporters, Russia has become one of the most attractive emerging markets in the world. But at the same time, there's a risk of a future serious shortage of workers in Russia with migration barriers in place and male life expectancy being less than the retirement age. Besides, some surveys and reports paint a grim picture of a lack of competitiveness and difficulty in doing business in the country. Mr Putin's supporters say economic stability is one of the most important achievements of his presidency. And it looks like foreign investors tend to agree with that point of view as they keep heading to Russia in increasing numbers, despite the country's negative image of suppressing businesses and democracy. Yaroslav Lissovolik , chief economist at Deutsche Bank in Russia, says that around $50bn (?23bn) will be invested in Russia by international businesses in 2007. It represents almost 5% of Russia's gross domestic product, which is quite a good figure for emerging markets, he says.