Programme

Regional Policy: Responding to Challenges The Russian Economy on the Verge of a Quantum Leap: Which Government Steps Will Lead to Growth? The national development goals determined by the President will require a concerted effort from all parties involved in working to meet them. How c...
The national development goals determined by the President will require a concerted effort from all parties involved in working to meet them. How can we establish the key drivers of future economic growth? What budget policy will be needed to achieve economic breakthrough? What is the role of development institutions in implementing national projects? How can we create an effective, mutually beneficial partnership between the state and private business? How should the resources and responsibility for achieving the national development goals be shared between the federal centre and the regions?
Regional Policy: Responding to Challenges Green Financing: Developing the Responsible Investment Market Green finance is about using financial services and instruments focused on supporting economic activity which helps to improve the environment, mit...
Green finance is about using financial services and instruments focused on supporting economic activity which helps to improve the environment, mitigate the consequences of climate change, and encourage smarter use of natural resources. The principal goals of a green finance system are, firstly, to create an institutional environment in which the state and private funders come together to finance green sectors, and, secondly, to maintain effective control over investment in projects where the risk of negative impact on the environment is high. Today, forging and developing a green finance system is considered to be an integral part of the national development strategy, particularly when it comes to implementing national projects and introducing the best available technologies within the manufacturing industry. How can we expand the availability of financing for investment in green projects? How can we increase the investment attractiveness of such projects? How can we improve the way the capital market works to distribute resources and serve the real economy?
Regional Policy: Responding to Challenges Industrial Clusters: How to Make the Regions More Attractive to Investors The country’s key development aims include becoming one of the world’s five largest economies, accelerating the rate of technological development i...
The country’s key development aims include becoming one of the world’s five largest economies, accelerating the rate of technological development in the Russian Federation, and creating a highly productive, export-oriented sector within the manufacturing industry. It is not possible for industry to develop rapidly or for enterprises to increase labour productivity without an influx of investment from major companies that have proven industrial competence and forward-looking development plans. Vital to tackling this challenge will be new industrial models which increase the quality of the offering for potential investors, along with a targeted approach to implementing investment projects, taking into account technological priorities and based on the skills that the region needs and has developed. Russia is currently home to more than 30 industrial clusters across the majority of sectors within the manufacturing industry. Niches for investment in high-tech production projects are appearing as a result of cooperation between clusters. This approach helps to improve the quality of the regions’ investment offering and ensures demand for the clusters’ output. How might we exploit the potential of existing industrial clusters for developing regional industry and establishing innovative production? How are the regions creating new niches for investment? How should we use the potential of interregional industrial cooperation to attract investors to the regions?
Regional Policy: Responding to Challenges Smart Regulation Tools for the Digital Economy Regulatory controls are a fundamental condition for economic development in any state. High-quality lawmaking can provide an impetus for economic g...
Regulatory controls are a fundamental condition for economic development in any state. High-quality lawmaking can provide an impetus for economic growth, while weak development of the regulatory environment can constitute an insurmountable barrier. The challenge facing us today is to create a modern system of state regulation. Rather than being a way of reacting to changes already underway in society, regulatory policy should instead be built in to these changes and capable of being finetuned as society evolves. Our task is to create an effective system for change management which allows for flexible and timely responses to contemporary challenges within a smart regulatory system. One key area of focus for improving the lawmaking system would be how to harness the potential of information technologies and tailored platform solutions: in other words, introducing the principle of ‘the state as a platform’ into state administration. How can we adapt existing regulatory policy to the principles of smart regulation? What are the possibilities and limits of digitalization in the lawmaking process? What are the principal approaches to regulatory control in the digital economy? Are there any opportunities to automate lawmaking processes and make legislation machine-readable? Are there any successful examples of this around the world? What is Russia currently doing in this area?
Regional Policy: Responding to Challenges Economy vs. Climate: Lessons in Adaptation Climate change will have a negative impact on almost all sectors of the economy, as well as infrastructure and business facilities. This will creat...
Climate change will have a negative impact on almost all sectors of the economy, as well as infrastructure and business facilities. This will create considerable risks for many investment projects – and for the development prospects of key sectors of the economy. Over the period 1990–2015, the number of dangerous natural phenomena in Russia almost doubled; the number of large-scale natural disasters such as floods, droughts, and forest fires also increased. Energy infrastructure and settlements located in perennial permafrost zones face potential danger. Given current trends in regional climate change, the damage caused could amount to 1–2% of the country’s GDP on average. Which factors must be taken into account in evaluating the damage in particular sectors? What measures is the Government of the Russian Federation considering to reduce economic losses related to the negative consequences of climate change and to reinforce infrastructure? How are businesses reacting to the threats they are facing?
Regional Policy: Responding to Challenges How to Make Cities Better Places to Live The development of the urban economy is one of the key factors behind a country’s GDP growth. The majority of the national projects instigated in t...
The development of the urban economy is one of the key factors behind a country’s GDP growth. The majority of the national projects instigated in the wake of the President’s May Decree are ultimately intended to improve the quality of life in cities and towns. What is the best way to coordinate existing state departmental programmes, regional initiatives, and business approaches in order to establish a single strategy for urban transformation? What must be in place in order to turn these ideas into concrete projects and ensure they achieve not only social results, but also results for business?
Regional Policy: Responding to Challenges The Competitiveness of the National Jurisdiction: New Directions for Development A competitive national legal system means new opportunities for national businesses and foreign investors. As things stand, Russia’s jurisdiction i...
A competitive national legal system means new opportunities for national businesses and foreign investors. As things stand, Russia’s jurisdiction is moving in the direction of emphasizing the protection of businesses’ rights and encouraging a stable business environment. The transparency of the country’s judicial system remains an issue, but is no longer as big a problem as it was even a couple of years ago. This means that the national jurisdiction is headed in the right direction, even if it is running up against some practical problems on the way. Modernizing and reforming legal procedure in the Russian Federation is opening up new possibilities for unifying procedural time limits and achieving independence and effectiveness in the judicial system, which may have a positive impact on protecting investors’ rights. What legal measures should be undertaken to stimulate increased investment in Russia’s regions? To what extent does the competitiveness of the national jurisdiction depend on pressure from sanctions, and what measures are necessary to provide businesses with legal protection?
Regional Policy: Responding to Challenges National Infrastructure Priorities for 2024: Defining Them Quickly, Implementing Them Effectively ROSINFRA Infrastructure Congress Event Integrated development of public infrastructure, which must be linked not only to the current needs of businesses, citizens, and the state as a who...
Integrated development of public infrastructure, which must be linked not only to the current needs of businesses, citizens, and the state as a whole, but also to their future requirements, and coordinated efforts on the part of authorities at all levels to bring the most important projects to fruition: these are the main tasks facing Russia’s leadership over the next six years, as set out in the President’s May Decree. In order to ensure that infrastructure limitations serve to stimulate national economic growth, the Government has already prepared a comprehensive development plan for major infrastructure, while financing organizations have proposed a range of credit products which could increase investment. Will the national projects prove effective in helping to tackle infrastructure challenges in the regions? How quickly and efficiently will the project selection and preparation phase be completed, ready for implementation to move forward? Will existing support tools and the proposed standard solutions be helpful here? What are the key conditions for state funding and allocating money from the Development Fund? Will cooperation between the primary development institutions create synergy in infrastructure development?
Regional Policy: Responding to Challenges Regional Bonds as a Tool for Implementing Infrastructure Projects and Improving Quality of Life Regional bonds (sub-federal and municipal securities) are an effective mechanism for establishing budgets and financing infrastructure and concessi...
Regional bonds (sub-federal and municipal securities) are an effective mechanism for establishing budgets and financing infrastructure and concessional projects. They promote rapid development and improve people’s quality of life. Employing this financial instrument allows regions not only to get the investment they need, but also to attract savings from the region’s population, giving citizens the chance to play a direct role in their own region’s development. This gives citizens greater ownership of projects that aim to improve quality of life for them and their children. The goals set by the country’s leaders to stimulate investment in infrastructure, education, healthcare, ecology, new technologies, and science provide a powerful stimulus for the development of this financial instrument, as do the performance indicators in place for the activities carried out by the authorities in Russia’s regions. What measures must be taken to increase the attractiveness of this financial instrument? How can we reduce the cost of borrowing for federal and municipal entities? How should we change legislative requirements to make this instrument more effective? How might the procedure for issuing sub-federal and municipal bonds be simplified? Which regions are successfully using this instrument and why do they consider it promising?
Regional Policy: Responding to Challenges The Fuel and Energy Sector: Creating the Conditions for Investment to Guaranteeing the Continuing Competitiveness of the Russian Economy The fuel and energy sector is currently the largest investor in the Russian economy, and also maintains a leading position on the global stage. It ...
The fuel and energy sector is currently the largest investor in the Russian economy, and also maintains a leading position on the global stage. It creates value throughout the production chain, from geological surveying to resource consumption (fuel for vehicles, electricity for homes). Improving efficiency at all stages of production will guarantee Russia’s economic development and increase competitiveness. How can we stimulate investment to make this ambitious aim a reality? How can we reconcile traditional sectors of the economy with breakthrough technologies and the economy of the future? Given external pressure and artificial restrictions, how can we create a sufficient stimulus to attract investment and keep developing the sector?
Regional Policy: Responding to Challenges Mains Infrastructure: the Lifeblood of Russia’s Fuel and Energy Sector Getting resources to the consumer, sending them on their way to export, or supplying them to petroleum refineries is a key aspect in the developmen...
Getting resources to the consumer, sending them on their way to export, or supplying them to petroleum refineries is a key aspect in the development of any economy. The competitiveness of fuel and energy sectors is directly dependent on the effective functioning and regulation of supply. How can we find a balance between protecting the economic interests of natural monopolies and avoiding disruption to the economics of energy production and supply? How can we ensure that the mains gas and electricity networks develop and consumers are connected at optimal rates, while simultaneously increasing the effectiveness of the investment programme? What role do modern technologies play in the work of natural monopolies?
Regional Policy: Responding to Challenges Public Financial Literacy as the Basis for Financial Stability The Ministry of Finance has carried out a study of financial literacy in Russia’s regions, and compiled a regional ranking on the basis of this dat...
The Ministry of Finance has carried out a study of financial literacy in Russia’s regions, and compiled a regional ranking on the basis of this data. From 2019, this ranking, which evaluates the efforts undertaken by regional authorities to increase the public’s level of financial knowledge, will be updated yearly. The results of the study will be revealed at the Forum in Sochi. During this session, Russian and foreign experts in financial literacy training will answer questions about the most effective ways to spread the word about financial literacy, and discuss key issues and problems related to protecting the rights of consumers of financial services.
Presentation of the Russian Regional Financial Literacy Rating
Regional Policy: Responding to Challenges Is Russia Prepared for New Challenges in Cyberspace? The development of the digital economy and the ubiquitous process of digitalization hold out the possibility of breakthroughs in work involving dat...
The development of the digital economy and the ubiquitous process of digitalization hold out the possibility of breakthroughs in work involving data – but, at the same time, significantly increase the risks posed by cyberthreats. According to official data, over the last six years, cybercrime in Russia has increased tenfold. In January–September 2018, law enforcement agencies recorded more than 13,000 such crimes every month, almost twice as many as last year. There is clearly increased interest among criminals in valuable corporate and personal data, especially bank accounts, and the financial sector is at particular risk. As a result, cybersecurity is well on its way to becoming a vital priority both for businesses and at the state level. Which cybersecurity strategies are the most successful? What is the best way to optimize resources and organize joint efforts to ensure maximum security? What needs to be done to predict and prevent cyberthreats?
The New Social Agenda Social Entrepreneurship as a Factor Contributing to the Country’s Wellbeing In the current economic environment characterized by harsh competition, ever more companies and entrepreneurs are expressing their readiness not on...
In the current economic environment characterized by harsh competition, ever more companies and entrepreneurs are expressing their readiness not only to turn a profit, but also to solve important social problems. Ensuring equal access for all citizens to high-quality social services, and attracting entrepreneurs into this area, could provide a new source of growth and improve quality of life. In today’s Russia, it is vitally necessary to create a social ecology which prioritizes not profit but better living conditions, through harnessing all the resources of the state, business, and society. What must be in place in order to create an integrated system for socioeconomic development in the regions and the country as a whole? How are existing measures for supporting social entrepreneurship working? Do they meet today’s standards and requirements? What efforts must the regions make to create an environment for developing socioeconomic potential?
The New Social Agenda Healthy Life Expectancy: The Foundation of Social Development One of Russia’s strategic development goals is to increase life expectancy to 78 by 2024, and also to promote stable natural population growth. The...
One of Russia’s strategic development goals is to increase life expectancy to 78 by 2024, and also to promote stable natural population growth. There is a great deal of variation in the relevant figures for Russia, and when considered next to the statistics for neighbouring countries, this variation is even more striking. To ensure an adequate response to this challenge, the state will need to employ tailored approaches to planning the future of healthcare, and meet ambitious goals related to administering and managing demographic processes. It has been shown that environmental and lifestyle factors, along with access to clean, safe food and water, avoidance of harmful habits, and regular physical activity, have a pronounced effect on life expectancy. Life expectancy can also be increased by continuous improvements in living conditions and the quality of medical care provided for age-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. What resources will be needed to increase healthy life expectancy? How should investment in public health ideally be divided up between the state, businesses, and citizens themselves?
The New Social Agenda Smart City: From Theory to Practice 2018 saw the launch of the Smart City project across the Russian Federation. Implementing innovative digital and engineering solutions for urban in...
2018 saw the launch of the Smart City project across the Russian Federation. Implementing innovative digital and engineering solutions for urban infrastructure will increase the efficiency of urban economic management and make cities more pleasant and attractive places to live. Phased implementation of integrated smart solutions in all areas of urban life will increase safety, reduce expenditure on administration, housing, and utilities, improve the urban environment and transport links, and so attract investment. What solutions should be introduced first in Russian cities, and which projects might receive state support? How should the Smart City project be implemented in the regions, and what needs to be included in regional programmes? What global technologies and experience do we need to harness? What mechanisms have been developed to make cities smarter and evaluate progress against this goal? What is the role of the state, business, and residents in shaping the environment of smart cities?
The New Social Agenda Ecology as a Measure of Quality of Life Russia has some ambitious goals to work towards, including ensuring sustainable natural population growth and increasing life expectancy. Meeting t...
Russia has some ambitious goals to work towards, including ensuring sustainable natural population growth and increasing life expectancy. Meeting these goals will be impossible unless the environmental situation is addressed, damage to the environment is reduced, and Russians have access to foodstuffs grown in safe ecological conditions. Over the last 11 years, no fewer than 8% of soil samples taken near major population centres have been judged to be dangerously contaminated with heavy metals, with a further 14% found to be moderately dangerously contaminated. Around 5% of sites studied across various regions were found to be polluted with pesticides, while around 4% were polluted with highly toxic chemicals. Almost all of the country’s principal rivers (the Volga, the Don, the Kuban, the Dnieper, the Northern Dvina, the Pechora, the Ob, the Yenisei, the Lena, the Kolyma, and the Amur) were judged to be polluted, and some were found to be ‘dirty’ or ‘very dirty’. All this is leading to degradation of the environment and agricultural output, and hence to a genuine threat to public health. What measures could be taken to reduce damage to the environment? What is already being done, and how effective are these measures? Do requirements and standards for the state of the environment and the activity of production facilities need to be tightened up?
The New Social Agenda The National Education Project as a Resource for Socioeconomic Development and Fostering Talent in Russia’s Regions In the face of globalization and the nascent digital economy, developing human capital is key to the country’s systematic long-term success, while ...
In the face of globalization and the nascent digital economy, developing human capital is key to the country’s systematic long-term success, while investment in human resources is the main driver of investment that will result in concrete and measurable strategic benefits for the socioeconomic development of the regions. In order to increase the level of development in Russia’s regions and make the Russian economy internationally competitive, it is vital to ensure that Russia possesses human resources capable of responding to the challenges of the global economy. Training to produce highly qualified specialists with the skills to implement large-scale projects in high-tech and knowledge-intensive sectors must be systematic. The National Education Project both creates new and develops existing opportunities for individuals at all stages of their education, from ensuring the right conditions are in place to promote early child development and support families, to modernizing vocational education and facilitating continuous professional development for workers. The project aims to establish opportunities for growth and replicate best practices, taking the individual needs and features of each region into consideration. Which regional features allow the project’s best practices to be implemented most effectively? How can we provide the necessary human resources to support the development of innovative sectors of the economy? Which measures undertaken as part of the National Education Project will create opportunities for developing the investment climate in Russia?
The New Social Agenda Best Practices for Socioeconomic Development: Integrated Solutions for the Regions Federal tools for supporting regional development are getting a lot of airtime at the moment, but unique solutions with a positive socioeconomic im...
Federal tools for supporting regional development are getting a lot of airtime at the moment, but unique solutions with a positive socioeconomic impact frequently appear and are implemented within the regions themselves. These can be found in areas such as housing and utilities, agriculture, tourism, urban development, and, as of quite recently, social entrepreneurship. Sometimes, these solutions do not even require public funding, but the effect they have can still be very significant. How might regional know-how help to achieve the targets set out in the May Decree? Which solutions have most to offer the regions? How can we evaluate their impact?
The New Social Agenda Investing in Online Education Integrating modern technologies into the educational process is intended as a way of increasing the quality of higher education. Using information ...
Integrating modern technologies into the educational process is intended as a way of increasing the quality of higher education. Using information technologies in education helps to develop professional competencies in the skilled employees of the future. In particular, introducing and developing online education can increase the quality of education overall, and allow people across Russia to take their education into their own hands. How is online education evolving, both globally and in Russia? Are Russian and global models and approaches different? How is responsibility for online education shared between the state and business? How large is the market for online education in Russia? What are its prospects for growth? Is investment in this area profitable for business? Can Russian universities run successful online education businesses?
The New Social Agenda Science and Society: A Strategy for Future Generations It is very difficult to offer a single definition of the term ‘science’ which fully captures its essence. What sets scientific knowledge apart is t...
It is very difficult to offer a single definition of the term ‘science’ which fully captures its essence. What sets scientific knowledge apart is the profundity of its inquiry into the crux of phenomena, i.e. their theoretical nature. Scientific knowledge begins when regular patterns are noticed in a cluster of facts – a general and necessary connection between them which helps to explain why a particular phenomenon happens one way and not another and to predict how it will develop in the future. One of the problems which arises as scientific knowledge accumulates, and which is particularly relevant right now, is the social responsibility which scientists assume for the outcomes of their work. The results of scientific inquiry can turn out to be dangerous to society, in which case their use for non-academic purposes could be detrimental. Scientists must be aware of their responsibility to society: after all, science cannot be separated from public life, and can exert both a constructive and a destructive influence on it. Who are today’s Russian scientists? What should pure research and information that matters to society look like? Which channels for disseminating information should we be using? Are integrated government support programmes needed in this area? What are young scientists in the 2020s likely to be interested in?
The New Social Agenda Training Employees to Implement National Projects Management skills and a willingness to collaborate are becoming key factors influencing the level and direction of development for Russia’s investm...
Management skills and a willingness to collaborate are becoming key factors influencing the level and direction of development for Russia’s investment environment at both the regional and federal level. To successfully compete on the global stage, it will be essential to foster a community of managers with a shared vision of development, an understanding of the goals and tasks ahead of them, common values, a conceptual apparatus, and a methodology for implementing, exploiting, and sharing best practice in the pursuit of management excellence in both national and federal projects. To what extent does the success of national projects depend on the people directly responsible for implementing them? How can we develop better managers and harness their potential? How can we roll out results to other branches of management across the whole country?
The New Social Agenda Education: A Tool for Attracting Investment to the Regions Education in the Russian Federation is on the way to becoming one of the most effective areas for investment, including social investment. Today, i...
Education in the Russian Federation is on the way to becoming one of the most effective areas for investment, including social investment. Today, in Russia and each of her regions, innovative educational environments are being created, and existing environments are being modernized. Mechanisms for investing in education can be widely implemented and replicated. Social investment could become a key driver of socioeconomic development in Russia’s regions. Russia already boasts examples of projects where tools for attracting investment have been successfully tested in the development and implementation stages. Investment projects in education have helped to improve the investment climate in Russia’s regions and promote socioeconomic development in the country. How do mechanisms for social investment in education stimulate the creation of an advantageous investment climate in Russia’s regions and attract new investment in education? Which best investment practices should we prioritize for adaptation and implementation through public–private partnerships in the Russian Federation?
The New Social Agenda Social Mobility as a Tool for Economic Growth and Global Competitiveness In the age of the digital transformation of the economy, the need for professional skills is coming to the fore. A key criterion for success in thi...
In the age of the digital transformation of the economy, the need for professional skills is coming to the fore. A key criterion for success in this new world is the ability to bring creative ideas to fruition in multidisciplinary contexts, along with a deep understanding of fundamental technological, managerial, and business processes, and the ability to navigate a world characterized by huge volumes of data. As demand grows and competition becomes fiercer, objectivity in evaluating potential also increases, and fundamentally new opportunities for growth open up for those who are willing to keep improving their skills, investing in their own development, and serving society. What are the features of programmes which have already been implemented in Russia, and how might they be replicated? How quickly might we see positive changes in society as a result of these projects? How can we maximize social mobility? How should we be harnessing our most important resource, the country’s human capital? Will it be possible to successfully halt ‘brain drain’?
The New Social Agenda Developing Socially-Oriented Education in Russia’s Universities A great deal of attention is currently being paid to the creation of a social infrastructure, support for social non-profit organizations and proje...
A great deal of attention is currently being paid to the creation of a social infrastructure, support for social non-profit organizations and projects with social impact, and the role the voluntary sector and corporate social responsibility might play in tackling social issues. However, are we attributing equal significance to the development of human resources, and so forming talent pools of specialists with the necessary competencies and skills to drive social progress? Institutions of higher education can play a defining role in this area. After all, they teach the students who will go on to work in the social sector, becoming the employees responsible for their company’s corporate social responsibility policies, social entrepreneurs, or social communications professionals. How can Russian universities help to address this issue? What does socially-oriented education look like in Russia’s leading universities today, and what must be done to develop it? How can we get students interested in tackling social problems in the regions? What can the principal beneficiaries of this kind of education – the state, non-profits, and business – do to make it more effective?
The New Social Agenda In the Vanguard of Technological Progress: Women in STEM The low proportion of women in STEM professions (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) was traditionally the result of a number of fac...
The low proportion of women in STEM professions (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) was traditionally the result of a number of factors: limitations in the education system, upbringing, and social stereotypes. But even today, despite the broad range of professional opportunities available to women in the country overall, there remain considerable gender inequalities both in terms of the number of people employed in STEM fields and in the level at which they are employed. Why do we need women in STEM? What influence can women have, and what influence are they having, on the development of high-tech sectors? Why are so few women entering the world of science and technology? What barriers do women face in this field? What must be done to attract women into STEM? What projects and initiatives might be implemented at schools and universities?
The New Social Agenda The Art of Influence: Investment in Social Communications as a Factor in Sustainable Social Change In the context of the global sustainable development agenda, social communications are a tool for scaling up ideas with social impact and creating ...
In the context of the global sustainable development agenda, social communications are a tool for scaling up ideas with social impact and creating a general culture of social responsibility. Brands which integrate shared human values into their businesses win consumers over and help to develop models of responsible behaviour. Foundations and non-profits capable of establishing an open dialogue with their audience attract more funding and get people involved in solving social problems. Why is it so important, indeed necessary, to invest in social communications and develop their creative component, whether that means funding an advertising campaign, an outreach project, or a charity event? Because it gives you the chance to have a significant impact on people’s motivation and actions. What social communications challenges are various organizations facing? Which social communications mechanisms are helping them meet these challenges effectively? How did some well-known social communications projects come to be, in both the for-profit and the non-profit sectors? What trends are defining the future development of social communications?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth “Rebooting” Regional Development Tools In order to attract direct Russian and foreign investment in Russia’s regions, more than 430 individual sites are currently up and running, offerin...
In order to attract direct Russian and foreign investment in Russia’s regions, more than 430 individual sites are currently up and running, offering special conditions for doing business and access to various government support measures (special economic zones, advanced special economic zones, industrial parks, and more). However, almost all the existing tools have attracted criticism from regulators and the media. What must be done to ensure that expenditure (including state expenditure) on building infrastructure to attract business does not turn out to have been futile because of a lack of investors? How can we change the prevailing media narrative so that it favours the development of special zones? How can investors choose the best site for them and avoid confusion? Is it possible to create a single universal tool and apply it in every region to make it simpler and easier for investors to get businesses off the ground in Russia?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth Technological Leadership: Setting High-Tech Companies up for Development in the Regions Prevailing Russian legislation provides for the creation of innovative scientific and technological hubs, or so-called ‘tech valleys’. Regions acro...
Prevailing Russian legislation provides for the creation of innovative scientific and technological hubs, or so-called ‘tech valleys’. Regions across the Russian Federation are currently hard at work on bringing these valleys into existence, creating development plans for science and technology hubs focused on global trends and challenges and capable of competing at a high level in research and development on global markets. Now is the time to discuss experiences of organizing hubs like these, creating innovative infrastructure, attracting investors and participating companies, and overseeing technology transfer. What should our aims and goals be when creating tech valleys? How should we go about creating a high-quality system for managing tech valleys? Which best practices for creating and running world-class tech hubs should we look towards when establishing tech valleys in Russia? How can we attract investors in order to create the necessary infrastructure? How can we ensure technology transfer?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth National Champions Pitch Session Russia is currently home to a group of a few hundred competitive, fast-growing, highly innovative private companies with a strong entrepreneurial b...
Russia is currently home to a group of a few hundred competitive, fast-growing, highly innovative private companies with a strong entrepreneurial base. Many of them are ready to expand their businesses and become leaders on the national or even global market. Since 2016, a number of these companies have applied and been accepted onto the Ministry of Economic Development’s priority project, ‘Supporting Leading Private High-Tech Companies’ (also known as ‘National Champions’). As things stand, 62 companies have been accepted onto the scheme. Participating companies receive comprehensive support from the Ministry in their dealings with government authorities, development institutions, and companies in which the state is a shareholder. How can we help companies communicate with banks and investment firms and obtain loans and investment? What achievements and future projects can the companies taking part in the National Champions scheme share with us?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth Investing in Tourism: Business Expectations vs. State Possibilities. Where are the Overlaps? As a distinct sector of the economy, tourism has a unique property: it tends to involve many other, related sectors too. According to data from the...
As a distinct sector of the economy, tourism has a unique property: it tends to involve many other, related sectors too. According to data from the World Tourism Organization, the development of tourism in any given area alters economic outcomes for more than 50 types of activity, including in key sectors like transport, accommodation and lodging, food, leisure activities, and tourist entertainment. It is clear to all of us how much is being done to ensure that tourism in our country develops rapidly, in various directions, and at all levels. More infrastructure and tourism facilities are appearing with every passing year, but there are also a number of concrete problems which businesses in the sector keep running up against. It is these problems that are standing in the way of creating an advantageous investment climate as far as finance and professional resources are concerned. What should the state do to attract investment in tourism? Are there any new models for interaction between businesses and the state in this area? Is the state a regulator or a builder of tourist infrastructure and facilities? Is the idea of attracting foreign investment for the development of tourism in Russia a fantasy or a reality? What positive experiences of collaborating with the business community can Russian regions share?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth Exporting Agricultural Output: The Regional Agenda Russia’s ambitions to export products on the global food market directly depend on the effectiveness of regional agricultural policies and agendas....
Russia’s ambitions to export products on the global food market directly depend on the effectiveness of regional agricultural policies and agendas. Different regional agendas approach the challenges around modernizing agriculture and reassessing the direction it should take quite differently. Various regions are seeing export potential in their own regional products and drumming up foreign consumer interest in them. How might we effectively create a portfolio of regional products for export? What development strategies for export are regions choosing? What international experience might we take into account when formulating effective regional export strategies?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth The Checklist: A New Tool for Organizing Regulatory Activities One of the limitations on developing economic and investment initiatives is excessive economic regulation. As part of efforts to reform regulatory ...
One of the limitations on developing economic and investment initiatives is excessive economic regulation. As part of efforts to reform regulatory activity, fundamentally new approaches to organizing checks have been developed and implemented. Particular emphasis has been placed on ensuring the clarity and transparency of requirements, as well as the predictability of checks. One of the tools introduced to make sure checks covered these requirements was checklists (lists of monitoring questions). A checklist is an exhaustive list of questions which cover the necessary requirements and define the scope of the check. When a checklist is used in the course of a planned check, the topics covered in the check cannot exceed the scope of the questions listed. What is more, the entity undergoing the check can familiarize themselves with the relevant confirmed checklists in advance on the regulator’s website, allowing them to check for themselves that they are adhering to all the necessary requirements. What should a checklist look like? How can we make checklists easy to use and understand for all parties involved in regulatory checks? Why is it necessary to adhere to the established procedure by which checklists are confirmed and registered? What successful examples currently exist of businesses employing checklists to contest the outcome of checks carried out using them?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth Models for the Work of Regional Development Institutions In 2018, the Russian Regional Investment Climate Index showed an improvement in the investment climate. In the regions, key development institution...
In 2018, the Russian Regional Investment Climate Index showed an improvement in the investment climate. In the regions, key development institutions have opened their doors, a full spectrum of support measures have been formally introduced, infrastructure and sites have been built, and investment advice is available – but there is little to show for all this in terms of investment volumes, whether domestic or foreign. In recent times, leading regions have essentially moved away from creating infrastructure; instead, they have begun putting it to use and increasing investment activity. This is not the case for the rest of the regions. Surveys of domestic and foreign investors have revealed some of their concerns: the availability (or not) of potential investment niches and market capacity in the regions; the competitiveness of the environment; access to infrastructure and resources; state guarantees for investment project implementation and the responsibilities of the state or region concerning the construction of social infrastructure; the stability of the rouble exchange rate; the procedure for VAT refunds; and the ability to embed their products into existing production and value chains. What do domestic and foreign investors need from the regions? What have development institutions learned to do, and what have they yet to learn (success stories and failures)? How, specifically, should we attract investors to particular regions and support them? What should we be paying attention to in organizing the work of development institutions?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth Revamping the Russian Regional Investment Climate Index: Index 2.0 Earlier this year, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the results of the Russian Regional Investment Climate Index were presented ...
Earlier this year, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the results of the Russian Regional Investment Climate Index were presented for the fifth time. This year, a clear majority of Russia’s regions – 78 in total – enjoyed growth. Since it was first established, the index has proven its effectiveness as a tool for assessing efforts by the authorities at all levels to improve the conditions for doing business in Russia’s regions. The results stimulate competition for investment at the regional level. However, many of the targets originally included in the index have already been met by the regions during this time, and in many cases, it would no longer be possible to make any improvements, whether qualitative or quantitative. In view of this, the time has clearly come to change the methodology used to assess the regions – and also to broaden the mission of the index: from searching out best practices and encouraging the regions to implement them, to motivating the regions to achieve concrete outcomes (e.g. attracting a certain volume of investment) as a result of the effort they put into implementing national priorities. Where should the Russian Regional Investment Climate Index go in the future?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth Export Accelerators as an Integrated Solution to Help Domestic Producers Enter External Markets An export accelerator is an integrated system of educational, financial, and non-financial measures intended to support companies’ export activitie...
An export accelerator is an integrated system of educational, financial, and non-financial measures intended to support companies’ export activities and up their tempo, whether or not the company has previously engaged in exporting its products. Russian businesses’ need for an export accelerator is in part dictated by the ambitious goals set by the country’s leaders (increasing non-commodity, non-energy exports to USD 250 billion; increasing the share of SMEs in the overall volume of non-commodity exports to 10%). However, it is also dictated by the experience of other countries. It is possible to be highly competitive on global markets only if effective government support measures are in place, including different measures for different categories of export and for companies of different sizes and with varying geographical reaches, as well as many other factors. What should the Russian model for an export accelerator look like? What is the target profile of an exporter, and what requirements should accelerator participants have to meet? What sorts of support measures (both state and public–private) should be available to companies who are accepted onto accelerator schemes? What regional infrastructure for supporting export activity needs to be in place for export accelerators to work effectively?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth The Digital Transformation of the Regions as a Tool for Attracting Investment In recent years, many of the regions of the Russian Federation have had notable success in helping to develop the innovative economy and implementi...
In recent years, many of the regions of the Russian Federation have had notable success in helping to develop the innovative economy and implementing progressive models for organizing high-tech economic activity. Some of their projects have involved cooperation between businesses, on the one hand, and scientific and educational organizations, on the other. These regions have also succeeded in attracting considerable investment, including foreign investment, in scientific and innovative sectors of the economy. The attractiveness of the leading innovative regions to progressive high-tech companies can be clearly seen in the implementation of a whole range of major projects involving leading foreign producers, along with the impressive results these regions obtained in key Russian and international rankings. However, at the same time, traditional models for developing foreign economic activity and attracting investment are no longer enough. There are various reasons for this: the fact that their potential has been exhausted, the fact that competing territories can now offer equally advantageous partnerships, and the tightening of budget restrictions. How can the regions find new and unexpected approaches and solutions in order to continue strengthening their international position, increasing exports, and attracting foreign investment? What digitalization success stories and best practices do regions have to share? What levels of digitalization do international investors require in a region? What federal support measures do the regions currently need? What is the role of cooperation between development institutions and the regions on digitalization issues, and what experience is there to draw on in this area?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth Tourism in the Caucasus: Today and Tomorrow The regions of the North Caucasus possess unique potential for tourism and excellent prospects for the development of some of the most popular type...
The regions of the North Caucasus possess unique potential for tourism and excellent prospects for the development of some of the most popular types of tourism worldwide. In recent years, the tourism industry in the North Caucasus has experienced a breakthrough. Growth has been stimulated by state investment in the sector, as well as the creation and development of special economic zones. The construction of new tourist facilities and the modernization of existing ones are opening up ever more opportunities for developing tourism and welcoming both domestic and foreign tourists. The region’s potential for mountain tourism, sports tourism, health and medical tourism, cruises, rural and ecological tourism, and more will create year-round demand for these facilities. The creation of a strategy for developing tourism across the North Caucasus Federal District by 2035 allowed the main competitive advantages of the North Caucasus regions to be identified, with the aim of focusing efforts on developing the most promising destinations both for the state and for businesses. At the top of the current agenda are, first, the creation of a single system for managing tourism across the North Caucasus Federal District, and second, the construction of a motorway linking Sochi’s network of resorts with the Caucasus. What role can tourism, both domestic and foreign, play in increasing the region’s attractiveness to investors? What proven examples exist of instances where private capital has been used to build and operate resort infrastructure? What will centralization of tourism management do for the Caucasus? How easy would it be to replicate these projects? How can we increase the attractiveness of the North Caucasus’s resorts for the population? How can we ensure commercial funding is used to equip resorts with facilities intended to remain functional for many years to come?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth The Role of the Regions in Popularizing Entrepreneurship One of the areas of concern of the national project ‘Small and Medium-sized Business and Supporting Individual Entrepreneurial Initiatives’ is popu...
One of the areas of concern of the national project ‘Small and Medium-sized Business and Supporting Individual Entrepreneurial Initiatives’ is popularizing entrepreneurship. In today’s Russia, people tend not to take a great deal of interest in entrepreneurship. According to data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, only 5% of respondents expressed a desire to start a business. However, there is considerable potential for growth in the SME sector by encouraging entrepreneurial activity and promoting entrepreneurship. Russia’s regions have a major role to play in tackling these challenges. Which tools are most effective? Are there universal recipes for success? How can mistakes be avoided? Which tools for popularizing entrepreneurship would businesses suggest?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth Faith-Based Business Associations: Places of Trust In the face of the ever-changing economic realities of the modern world, new horizons for cooperation based on traditional religious faiths are spr...
In the face of the ever-changing economic realities of the modern world, new horizons for cooperation based on traditional religious faiths are springing up. One of the features of recent years has been the increasing number of clubs and all manner of other business associations with a basis in faith. These are intended to play an important role in supporting social harmony and diversity, but as business organizations, they also encourage increased business activity and provide support in the search for new sources of capital for business development. This increases levels of business activity both among members of particular faith communities and in society as a whole. Modern cooperative organizations like these can help to attract investment, develop entrepreneurial skills, encourage social mobility, and foster a high degree of independence in the lives of traditional communities. Moreover, associations like these open up new opportunities for interfaith dialogue, which can lay the ground for new horizons for cooperation to emerge within both the state and society. They can also reveal new ways of increasing corporate social responsibility. Are there any success stories concerning cooperation between faiths and business? Can businesses based on the values of traditional religious faiths increase trust in business as a whole and help to uncover new sources of capital? What are the long-term prospects and what needs to be done to make them a reality?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth Russian Retail: A State Plan for the 21st Century? In today’s globalized world, commerce as a sector of the economy has a key role to play. Even the term ‘market economy’ suggests its importance: th...
In today’s globalized world, commerce as a sector of the economy has a key role to play. Even the term ‘market economy’ suggests its importance: the market and trade transactions are at the very heart of an economy founded on the competitive activity of independent economic entities. Thanks to the feedback mechanism, retail sets the quantitative and qualitative parameters for production and determines both short- and long-term economic development trends. One interpretation holds that commerce is nothing more than an unproductive sector of the economy which Russian producers have to ‘maintain’ to ensure the production–consumption system functions effectively. This view of trade is a hangover from the Soviet era. The current proliferation of restrictions and prohibitions is holding back the development of commerce, increasing internal expenses, exerting pressure on prices, and, ultimately, distorting retail’s regulatory function. Given that commerce can be a natural ally of the state in stimulating the economy, authorities should in fact be eager to establish partnerships with retail; the regulatory focus should be not on administrative prohibitions, but on developing the economic practices of a self-regulating market. This approach could provide a new impetus for the development not only of commerce, but of the economy as a whole. What is the role of commerce in economic development? What are the optimal mechanisms for regulation and self-regulation of commerce in Russia?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth How Can We Protect Privacy in the Internet of Things Era? Recent years have seen a breakthrough both in the quality of big data processing and in the sources collecting big data. Telecoms operators can det...
Recent years have seen a breakthrough both in the quality of big data processing and in the sources collecting big data. Telecoms operators can determine where you live in real life, who your friends are, when you take your dog for a walk, and how much money is coming into your accounts. Smart checkouts now know what you are buying, while banks know almost everything there is to know about how you earn and spend money. All these aspects of business are beginning to merge, so that, sooner or later, a single unified structure will be able to create a true digital double of each person, digitizing their life and habits. And more likely than not, this structure will not be an omnipotent arm of the state, but rather a powerful commercial operator. How can we protect our privacy? What restrictions should there be on data processing? What responsibilities should companies who process data bear?
The Business Climate in Russia: On the Path to Growth The Role of Financial Markets in the Investment Process Over the last four years, reduced investment has been causing problems for Russia’s economy. Despite a number of encouraging trends, we nonetheless...
Over the last four years, reduced investment has been causing problems for Russia’s economy. Despite a number of encouraging trends, we nonetheless have to admit that the situation on the market for financial resources remains extremely difficult. In order to increase the pace of growth in the Russian economy and renew key funds, considerable sums must be directed towards investment in the real sector, and one source of the necessary resources should be the financial market. In established Russian practice, the key mechanism for attracting funding to develop the real sector of the economy is a classic one: bank lending. Investment lending is not as well-developed in Russia, constituting less than 8% of the market, according to experts. Among the factors holding investment lending back are banks’ increasingly strict requirements for potential borrowers, the lack of long-term passive investment opportunities, a lack of clarity regarding real project payback periods, and the current regulatory demands. What are the development prospects for investment lending in Russia? What changes need to be made to the legislative basis for regulation of the financial market? What are the development prospects for key sectors of the financial market?