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Russia’s economic growth is too slow: Minister

Friday, 24 Jan 2014 | 8:40 AM ET
Slow growth is a 'big challenge' for Russia: Deputy minister
Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 | 7:00 PM ET
Sergey Belyakov, Russia's deputy minister for economic development, says that the slow Russian growth is a "big challenge" and the country has "no choice" but to improve the business environment.

Russia's economy is growing too slowly, the country's deputy minister of economic development admitted to CNBC on Friday.

"This is a big challenge for us. Now is the first time Russian economic growth is too slow, and is much slower than in a lot of economies," said Sergey Belyakov.

Russia's economy is seen expanding by less than 2 percent in 2013. Concerns have been flagged about capital flight from the country, although Belyakov said foreign direct investment (FDI) rose to $87 billion last year, from $50 billion in 2012.

"It is business requirement not only to attract capital to the Russian economy, but to change living standards — that is why we need capital. Not only foreign capital, foreign investment, but Russian investment as well," he said.

He added that Russia was striving to improve its business environment in order to attract more capital.

Last year, professional services firm EY (previously Ernst & Young) rated the country the sixth-most attractive in the world for FDI.

(Read more: Russia's Putin acting out of weakness: Soros)

Belyakov has been deputy minister of economic development since August 2012, and previously served in the armed forces and the Federal Security Service. He spoke to CNBC from the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

—By CNBC's Katy Barnato. Follow her on Twitter: @KatyBarnato

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