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New Rouble Symbol?
November 26, 2013 11:56

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The Russian Central Bank has put the choice of the national currency symbol to vote.

The push for a branded image is part of the attempt by the Russian authorities to entice foreign capital and turn Moscow into a global financial center. You can cast the ballot for your favorite sign here.

This is not the first attempt, though. The history of the quest for the symbol started on July 1, 2007 and its milestones are available on the webpage of leading design company Art Lebedev.

According to it, a group of initiators including “Design Depo, Designet, Direct Design, Imadesign, Letterhead, Paratype, and Art. Lebedev Studio” decided to take the matter into their own hands because “either professional designers took the lead in finding the sign, or everyone would once again end up having to use something disturbingly lame.”

The graphic sign was presented to public on August 1, 2007.

“The new symbol has no author, and there are no limitations as to copying and modifying. Thesign was designed and selected according to objective criteria. It is not protected by intellectual property laws,” reads the statement.

According to Art Lebedev, “within the first three weeks, almost four hundred design companies throughout the country joined the campaign.”

The drive for a symbol comes at a time of disturbingly poor performance by the national economy.

Growth in Russia in 2012 fell to 3.4 percent from 4.3 percent a year earlier. Both the government and the IMF forecast a 1.5 percent GDP growth for 2013. In June 2013, Alexey Ulyukayev replaced Andrey Belousov as Economic Development Minister, but has so far failed to kick-start the economy.

According to the IMF, Russia’s prospects “have been dampened by a weak external environment, some acceleration of capital outflows and declining equity prices and subdued investment”.

Industrial output has been flat within the past ten months, and the privatization campaign announced earlier by the Medvedev cabinet has stalled amid a bleak economic outlook and reluctance of state corporations’ management to share their revenues and power with foreign players.

Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Russian rouble Russian currency Russian economy   

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