Olli Rehn, Governor of the Bank of Finland, and Elvira Nabiullina, Head of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, are meeting in an economic seminar hosted by the Bank of Finland in Mikkeli today, on 13 July 2018.

The seminar discusses current economic affairs in both countries and the euro area. The presentations also review the current state of Finland’s and Russia’s economic and trade relations and energy markets.

The Bank of Finland forecasts Russian GDP to grow 1.8% this year and 1.6% in 2019. Higher oil prices will provide support to Russian economic growth this year. Many of the challenges to sustainable economic developments are global, however. Russia’s long-term outlook, too, is crucially dependent on whether the country can make use of new technology and raise productivity via digitalisation. Demographic factors will dampen future economic growth in Russia and the euro area alike.

‘Despite past years’ challenges, the European Union and Russia are important trading partners for each other. If the positive economic developments in Russia continue, the EU’s – and also Finland’s – exports to Russia will increase,’ states Governor Olli Rehn. ‘It is important for Finland that the EU’s and Russia’s economic relations are developed over the long term, beyond the imminent horizon’. According to Governor Rehn, the central banks’ cooperation supports the realisation of this goal.

In addition to Governors Rehn and Nabiullina, the seminar will be attended by experts from both central banks and several Finnish economic influencers as well as representatives of the city of Mikkeli. The Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition, BOFIT, has participated in the seminar arrangements. BOFIT is an internationally high-level research institute focusing especially on economic developments in Russia and China.