Russia – Finland: creating skills, supporting and building
In the midst of the economic crisis in the 1990s, Finland developed a new competitiveness policy designed to support private sector innovation, while investment in R&D provided the catalyst for subsequent growth. At the same time, Russia, with its history of a planned economy, was widely seen to have established a strong record of human capital, particularly in comparison to economies with comparable levels of income. As the world is moving into a post-industrialist stage, the skills traditionally needed for work are changing, while digital platforms and socio-cultural changes create new challenges and opportunities for learning. From a company view-point, what makes a successful learning ecosystem? How can co-operation between educational institutes and enterprises be fostered? What steps can be taken to create competitive learning systems? What methods should elementary schools and high schools employ to develop entrepreneurial skills?
In the current global environment, RussianIndian bilateral economic relations continue to strengthen, as demonstrated by expanding partnerships in the defence, space, mining, and chemicals sectors. What steps can policy makers on both sides take to accelerate and deepen economic ties? How might the increase in the use of national currencies in bilateral settlements affect mutual trade?
Regional leaders from finance and government agencies will gather to discuss and debate a broad agenda, including the Eurasian Economic Union as a driver to revive and strengthen SCO investment cooperation, steps to foster cooperation in multilateral projects, SCO economic programme financing, and capitalizing on new market opportunities.
Russia – Japan: prospects for business cooperation
In recent years, Asian economies have become Russias key partners in expanding international economic ties, and Japan is no exception to this trend. Yet bringing trade, economic and investment relations between Russia and Japan to its full potential remains a challenge. What policy prescriptions and private sector steps could unlock a new cycle of deepening bilateral economic cooperation, and what are the development prospects over the medium term? How might the introduction of new incentives for domestic production in Russia create opportunities for Japanese business?
The level of uncertainty about future economic trends remains very high. Experts err in projections, and the government often needs to change plans in response to new dynamics. Political aspects often take center stage clouding judgment on the merits of economic issues. How does one avoid wishful thinking in this situation? Has the crisis bottomed out in Russia? What will happen with the Rouble? Are we to expect an new wave of the global crisis?
Powering opportunity: integrating European, Russian and Asian energy sectors
The integration of national power systems to form more efficient cross-border solutions holds many potential economic benefits, but executing such projects is challenging and complex. What kinds of infrastructure, management, knowhow, labour and geopolitical barriers must be overcome? How might technological advances create new opportunities in integration, and what are the appropriate roles for government and the business sectors in building success?
Modernization and energy efficiency in Russia: forced measures or new opportunities?
Russian businesses are under pressure to revamp operations and significantly improve efficiency. At the same time, government-owned and natural monopolies are expected to further cut costs and review their investment programmes given the sagging economy. Can the difficult circumstances be a catalyst for reform and create investment opportunities for private capital in the state sector, particularly in energy efficiency projects? How can the Russian government and regional authorities support steps to enhance efficiency?
Dilemmas in regulatory reforms for more effective land management
Land is a strategic resource for expanding the Russian economy, yet lengthy title registration procedures and red tape hamper investments and development for both companies and individuals. This has not only harmed the overall investment environment, but also significantly reduced tax revenues at all levels. What effective land management measures can stimulate economic development in the regions? Does Russia need land reform?
Intellectual property remains one of the most important components for evaluating a business, and is a critical element of economic performance as a whole. Governments continue to improve IP laws, offering new mechanisms for protection. Which measures have already proved effective and which need improvement? Are there any additional ways to enhance protection that have not been implemented yet? How will global integration affect the protection of intellectual property rights?
The imperative to spur competitive factors and incentivize efficiencies
Bureaucratic red tape, an underdeveloped infrastructure and financial sector, as well as the need to create greater competitive pressures for state-owned corporations are just a few of the key issues policymakers face as they seek to raise Russias competitiveness. What measures should the government take to boost competition? What confidence-building measures would give the business sector a sense that the competitive environment will see improvements?
International business and government leaders will gather to discuss a broad agenda: the current state of cooperation in trade and investment between the BRICS countries and future prospects in this area, ways to stimulate economic recovery in the BRICS countries, building and strengthening inter-regional ties, establishing a favourable business environment, harmonizing trade regulations, and removing administrative barriers and bottlenecks.
Building efficiency in essential state-owned enterprises
Enhancing the efficiency of systemically important state-owned enterprises (SOEs) is a vital element of Russias economic reform initiatives. SOEs must adapt to the new economic environment, and adjust to fast-moving market conditions and potentially disruptive technologies. Cutting costs, alongside improving the quality of services, is important for boosting efficiency amid rising competition. What further steps should Russias principal SOEs undertake to drive performance?
Investing in science – a foundation for the future
Innovation in modern high technology applications has often benefited from massive R&D investments as well as substantial public sector basic science expenditures. Given the difficult economic climate, can businesses be expected to maintain heavy funding for scientific and technology development? What is the correct balance between public support of basic scientific research and private sector R&D? How can new models in international collaboration and co-investment schemes mitigate the costs and risks in R&D?
Business perspective on EU – EAEU as a formula for cooperation
The prospects of economic relations between Russia and the European Union in the context of the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) are high on business communitys agenda. Business on both sides is working on retaining well-established mutually beneficial ties and is seeking new formats and opportunities for cooperation in trade, investment, science, technology and other areas. Which new opportunities does the EU EAEU format open not only for major economic players, but also for SMEs? Will the new format become the basis for diversification of foreign economic relations? What future projects of business cooperation from Lisbon to Vladivostok can be discussed today?
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) projects that growth in the nuclear energy sector until the year 2030 will primarily stem from the building of new plants in countries that are installing their first facilities. What particular steps should suppliers take to ease the production of nuclear power to first-timers? What supporting role should the IAEA play in this regard? What concrete measures should be put in place to ensure the safe expansion of nuclear energy into new economies?
The new development bank: a stronger role for BRICS in the global financial architecture
The BRICS economies have jointly established a USD 100 billion development bank to be based in Shanghai. What does this new institution mean for global economic management? What are some of the key areas of focus over the medium term?
The aging society: maintaining productivity as demographics shift
Many of the economies that have been the principal drivers of global growth over the past 30 years are going to experience a large increase of retirees in the coming decades. What are the public policy initiatives that can spur and accelerate the private sector products and services needed to meet the challenges of this broad demographic trend? Is a rise in labour productivity sufficient to compensate for a proportional rise in dependents? Should adjustments to the retirement age be made? What other measures are needed?
Russia – Middle East: new opportunities for investment co-operation
While retaining their investment appeal, the countries of the Middle East are among the most promising investment donors for emerging markets. What characteristics of the joint initiatives and models are required for promoting ambitious projects on emerging markets? The role of Russias industrial potential in expanding investment co-operation. The key challenges and opportunities.
SMES as competitive disruptors to spur economic productivity
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have the potential to play a much more significant role in the Russian growth story, particularly as the country emerges from economic downturn and restructuring. But to tap the full potential of the SME sector, regulatory reform is needed. What steps should the government take to unleash growth in SMEs? How can an increase in the share of economic activity attributed to SMEs trigger greater competition and productivity in the economy as a whole?
Transformative infrastructure: realizing mega projects
Major projects such as the Nicaragua Canal, the Power of Siberia, the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, and the railways in the Eastern Polygon as well as other global infrastructure developments promise to change the global economic landscape. Yet these initiatives require billions of dollars in investment and present enormous challenges, as well as potential benefits. What steps can international organizations and the public sector take to reduce the risks associated with mega projects? How can financing be best secured for the implementation of these projects?
International trade, employment, SMES and entrepreneurship
In 2015 Turkey Business 20 (B20) Presidency holds a series of regional consultation forums aiming to integrate non-G20 business leaders into the B20 process. CEOs and heads of business-associations from G20 and partner-countries will discuss the B20 Taskforces priorities and draft recommendations for G20 Leaders for international trade, employment, SMEs and entrepreneurship.
The unabated growth of e-commerce – how will it reshape global retail markets
Online sales reached USD 1.5 trillion worldwide in 2014 and is projected to continue its strong growth over the coming years. More sophisticated interfaces, enhanced payment systems, improved logistics and better mobile phone apps are, taken together, leading to a major shift in retail behaviour. Will established retailers with e-commerce operations dominate the space, or can e-commerce players take the majority of market share? What further innovations in online retailing are likely to come to market in the next two to three years?
Have nanotechnologies lived up to the expectations?
The first phase of the Nanotechnology Industry Development Strategy (a presidential initiative) is to be completed in 2015. What tasks were set for developing the nano-industry when the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (RUSNANO Corporation) was set up? Which goals were successfully met, and conversely, which have yet to be met and why? Why was Rusnanotech State Corporation split into a joint-stock company and a non-profit organization (the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programmes), and why was a management company established? Does RUSNANO have any breakthrough projects that are comparable with world-class examples? Have the developments of Russian scientists been in demand for the new industry? Can the Russian nanotechnology industry survive in the current conditions? Which industries are currently using nanotechnologies, and why arent they seen in everyday life? Which industries are the most promising for the use of nanotechnologies in the near future?
Crisis mitigation policies: the need for government reform
The government plays an important role in any countrys economy, and its significance for the economy of Russia can hardly be overestimated. Without a coherent government mechanism there can be no successful reform in the economy or the social security, which makes the reform of government the starting point for the changes required. The current situation gives a chance to start delivering on the promises. Firstly, the functions of the federal government must be clearly defined, and the powers must be clearly delineated between the federal government and the authorities on all the other levels. Secondly, a culture of client focus must be inculcated across the federal government. Thirdly, unified procedures of regular performance management must be introduced. Fourthly, human resources must be managed nationwide. A success of this reform will accelerate growth in the medium term. What measures to improve government performance should take priority? How does one achieve consistently higher efficiencies for the state apparatus?
Financing growth, infrastructure and investment, anti-corruption, emerging markets priorities
In the framework of the B20 Regional Consultation Forum representatives of the Taskforces, discussion participants from G20 members and non-G20 countries will discuss B20 recommendations for financing growth, infrastructure and investment, anti-corruption. Priority will be given to strengthening emerging markets role and their perspectives on the B20 agenda.
Silk road and greater Eurasia: politics, economy, infrastructure
Discussion of the latest events in the region of Central Asia, actions of the key political subjects, assessment of forecasts for developments in the region. Debates on cooperation of Russia and China, the underlying principles of which were declared at the recent meeting of President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of China Xi Jinping. The main driving forces transforming Central Eurasia into a zone of joint development will be the Silk Road Economic Belt project and Eurasian Economic Integration led by Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Russia benefits from supporting Chinas project at the very early stage, lending it support and gaining equitable conditions for participation.
Long-dependent upon global investment funds for corporate financing, Russia is shifting to a more diversified approach with an increase in domestic public capital markets as a primary source of funding. What steps should be taken to secure the availability of funds? How can this change the methods used to finance infrastructure projects?
The demand for developing skills: striking the right balance between the public and private sectors
In an era when rapid changes in technology can dramatically impact the fortunes of a business, managers are increasingly concerned about attracting and nurturing highly skilled, adaptable talent. However, prospective employees often lack the required education and skills, and the time and resources spent on retraining staff can too often benefit competitors. How can more effective collaboration between public sector educators and business lead to an improvement in the skill base of employees? What approaches can assure that the personnel demands of the future are correctly assessed, and education investments are made to best meet the needs of an economy, especially in the fast-moving hi-tech industries?
How can Russian jurisdiction be made more comfortable for business?
The further expansion of the legal freedom to do business is the best response to all external challenges and restrictions. How exactly should economic freedoms be expanded? What amendments need to be made to existing legislation and law enforcement practices? How can the Russian legal framework be made more appealing for businesses?
As modern transport becomes packed with sensors and internet and software systems, the distinguishing features and value proposition for vehicles is shifting more and more to the sophistication of interactive systems in compliment to sound hardware engineering. Is this integration of more digitized vehicles changing the economics and profit margins in transport manufacturing? How might the participation of digital tech giants impact the sector? What changes to train, automotive and new modes of vehicles such as consumer drones are we likely to witness over the medium term?
The multiplier effect of budgetary expenditures on the economy: priorities, internal reserves and control
Given the slowdown in economic growth, state financial monitoring and audit authorities have greater influence on choosing priority spending areas and identifying internal government reserves. What are the multiplier effects from different areas of state economic support, and what is the correlation between budget expenditures and government programme indicators? How are the roles of financial monitoring and audit bodies changing when it comes to assessing the efficiency of government authorities, and how do these organizations contribute to ensuring that these authorities assume greater responsibility for utilizing resources and achieve their stated goals and results?
Inflation, growth and currency stability: the central bank’s dilemma
While Russian economy started to adapt to new realities, what might be the optimal path of monetary policy? Which goals can and which cannot be achieved using monetary policy tools? What constrains of monetary policy can be observed in the current situation?
With high-profile cases of attacks and numerous examples of sensitive corporate and personal data being stolen, cyber security is becoming a top priority for both governments and boardrooms. What is the appropriate balance between public sector preventative measures and private sector responsibilities to invest in enhanced protection? What cyber security strategies both at the national and corporate levels are proving most effective? And how can international cooperation help win the war against cyber threats?
Shifting landscape ushers in a new era for global oil and gas markets
A decrease in demand for energy coupled with structural changes in supply as well as shifts in the political climate have altered prices and impacted investment and extraction strategies worldwide. What does this mean for the sector over the medium and long term?
The global media landscape is undergoing dramatic changes. Each year sees new media and social networks playing an increasingly prominent role in creating and sharing information, as well as establishing a direct dialogue between different sections of society. Are they a harbinger of a gradual decline in traditional media as an effective means of interaction between business, government and society? Heads of global news agencies will meet to discuss who will be behind the global information content in the near future, what is the impact of the global news agenda on key economic processes, how unbiased media coverage of economic events really is, and if news is truly a partner of or a rival to business.