The world of production can be defined as the full chain of activities to source, make, deliver, consume, and reintegrate products and services, from the origination of inputs, product design, manufacturing, and distribution to consumer use and return or reuse. The technologies associated with the fourth industrial revolution, such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, advanced robotics, 3D printing, wearables, etc. will transform manufacturing and production systems with unprecedented speed and scope, impacting business models, economic growth, employment, and sustainability. Industrial players across the production value chain, as well as policymakers, regulators, civil society, and expert communities, must work together to build truly innovative and sustainable production systems that benefit everyone. Shaping the Future of Production in Russia is an initiative that will bring together national public and private stakeholders to collaboratively address existing challenges and identify new opportunities for Russias future industrial development. At the core of the discussion will be the question: how can the transformation of production systems, from R&D to the consumer, drive innovation, sustainability, and employment in Russia?
Economic ties between Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states and the Republic of India have a long history and solid foundations. The strategic partnership that exists between the two sides is enabling comprehensive trade relations to be developed. This event represents an opportunity for a direct dialogue, through which current issues in and prospects for economic collaboration can be examined, together with steps to achieve optimal conditions for further development, particularly against a background of trade liberalization that is opening up new business opportunities. Consolidated, practical proposals for increasing economic integration on the basis of predictable and long-term regulations can also be formulated. Suggested topics for discussion in this context include trade regulation, standardization of administrative procedures, removal of trade barriers, support for trade and investment flows, and cooperation in technology and manufacturing. Business enterprise and its practical and ever-increasing demand for the development of an effective market which functions according to clear rules form the basic foundation for the creation of a high-quality business environment.
A strong political position calls for a strong economy. At the present time, several programmes for Russias economic development are under discussion. One of them is a medium-term development programme, Strategy for Growth, in which Russia would begin to see growth higher than the global average by 2019, and double its GDP by 2035. But no programme is feasible without public support and debate. What is the potential for bringing in new sources and identifying comprehensive solutions and projects to ensure steady growth against a background of global economic transformation? Is it possible to set this programme in motion as early as today, and what decisions need to be taken in order for this to happen?
Meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement will require a radical transformation of the current system of power generation in the world, as well as accelerated development of zero carbon energy. At present, the share of such green energy of the future amounts to just 30% of overall global generation. Nuclear power plants producing around 11% of global power, along with renewables, are making a significant contribution to green energy. What will the future green energy balance look like and what role will nuclear power play in its creation? What technologies and solutions will serve as the basis for nuclear power development? How can we ensure efficient implementation of nuclear generation projects?
Fashion as a driver of light industry in the Russian regions
Fashion today is an innovative force that is helping several Russian regions to develop a creative economy and is contributing to the competitiveness of national light industry. Responding to shifting consumption models, the fashion sector has been at the forefront of introducing new materials and online services, and the advent of digital design and new production technologies has created fertile ground for disruptive startups enabling future growth. Having demonstrated domestic success, firms can seek international recognition and boost the countrys non-commodity exports. Can fashion become a driver for a creative economy, and what is its global potential? What steps should be taken to make Russian light industry competitive in a digital economy? How are Russian fashion firms adapting to changes in consumption models to maintain competitiveness in the global fashion sector? What should be done to help light industry develop innovative production technologies, and can the Russian fashion sector become a leader in this rapidly changing environment?
Global demand and priority areas for Russian exports
Russian exports have expanded in recent years and improved in structure. The share of non-commodity, non-energy exports is up 4% for the year, reaching 38% of the total in 2016, while China has become the biggest importer of Russian non-commodity products. Despite sanctions, the European Union remains the leading trading partner in absolute terms, with Russian non-commodity exports to EU countries exceeding USD 26.7 billion, while the US ranks fourth. Is the growth of non-energy supplies a consequence of changing global demand or a structural issue? Is the current geographical distribution of exports balanced, and what is the potential of the EAEU market for exports? And will China grow to overtake the EU as Russias main export market?
One of the key priorities of Chinas BRICS presidency in 2017 is to broaden cooperation on joint projects as an effective tool for strengthening trade and economic ties, and achieving a new level of economic integration between the five countries. Topics for discussion include the possibilities and prospects for initiating a new level of industrial and technological cooperation and identifying factors that are hindering efforts towards this objective; the positive experiences in implementing joint projects; and the support that the New Development Bank can provide for projects being implemented within the BRICS economies. Participants in the session will share their experience in promoting projects in BRICS countries in the infrastructure, energy, industry, IT, and telecommunications sectors, and also identify some of the key challenges faced by business today.
In recent years, world sport has often become entangled with the demonstration of national political ambitions and susceptible to sanctions, and the word boycott has once again become part of the rhetoric accompanying major competitions. The reputation of and public trust in sport has, to a greater extent, come under scrutiny from a sceptical media and populace. How can we ensure that the key decisions in world sport are made transparently and independently? What steps must be taken to strengthen Russias position in international sporting events while taking into consideration current tendencies? Are there examples of Russia successfully applying soft power in the integrated processes of world sport, and contributing to its reform? How realistic are Russias chances in bidding to host major sporting events in the context of new agreements? How can the training centres for Russias sporting teams become platforms for reinforcing confidence in Russian sport in the world arena?
False vs. Credible information: a challenge to the modern information world
The development of digital technologies and the alternative media have brought to the fore the issue of fake news, making it a major headache for modern journalism. How can anyone distinguish truth from lies when the number of sources and channels of circulating information is increasing every day? The problem of disseminating false information has become a matter of concern not only for global media companies but also for the largest Internet platforms. Facebook and Google, in collaboration with the worlds leading media, have implemented content verification systems to sift through data to see if it is authentic. Can it be possible that modern society has no mechanism to shield itself from smear campaigns and mud-slinging? How can we deal with disinformation and attempts to manipulate public opinion? Are we going to face an era when it is impossible to distinguish between fake news and credible reports, or will only material that receives the majority of views and likes on social media be considered reliable?
The cis – a space for developing economic and business collaboration
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) which recently marked its twenty-fifth anniversary has proven to be not only an effective platform for dialogue, but also an important mechanism in supporting and developing historical trade and economic ties. The Commonwealth has begun to explore new areas for cooperation focusing on business and financial affairs, which Russia views as one of its foreign policy priorities due to the closeness and importance of Commonwealth economic partnerships. What is the state of economic cooperation within the CIS, and what next steps should be taken to develop this cooperation in a way that takes account of the interests and expectations of business? What must be done to remove barriers to deepening integration, while expanding trade and collaboration in a variety of sectors ranging from electronic trading, government procurement, agriculture, and food security to transport, energy, and interregional and cross-border cooperation?
European and Eurasian integration: possibilities for a new interface
The Eurasian Economic Union can become a development hub for a more encompassing Big Eurasia project. Todays agenda is extremely urgent for all concerned parties, with particular attention being paid to energy, transport and infrastructure, migration, and other issues. Many in European business are ready to cooperate and there is an interest in developing relations with EAEU economies. How can structural cooperation between the EU and the EAEU be fostered and is it possible to strike a comprehensive cooperation agreement? Will the global surge in protectionism impact the feasibility of a Big Eurasia project?
International space services market revenues are estimated at USD 300400 billion, with the sector growing by about 5% per annum. As practice shows, space technology is an innovative business that can be successfully developed not only by governments but also by private companies. There are a number of examples where investment in space technology and research has not only generated strong returns, but also found broad application here on Earth. How ambitious should business be in exploring outer space and investing in related new technologies? What are the prospects for private business and how might the private sector reshape the space industry? What might be the impact of expanded activities relating to space exploration on humanity at large?
Innovative development and protecting intellectual property in the digital economy
As digital outputs become more widespread, IP protection for channels delivering digital content and services and associated administration of rights (including decentralized registries of rights) are critical for spurring innovation and competitiveness. Countries which have adopted robust intellectual property systems stand to gain a competitive advantage. Given shortened product lifecycles and relative ease in bringing innovation to market, what legal protection limitations should be considered? How can we protect rights and ensure fair compensation for authors, researchers, and businesses, and is it true that the role of IP protection is increasing in the digital economy? Which priorities should be included in national intellectual property policy and what is lacking in Russias approach? Which organizations can act as drivers of development, and what steps does the state need to take to make this happen?
The Influence of SME Ecosystems on the Global Economy
A states SME ecosystem plays an important role in the development of its socioeconomic functions. Economic development is driven by small and medium-sized enterprises, which create additional jobs and bring about an increase in tax revenues. The share of SMEs in GDP has been rising steadily throughout the world over the past few years. In Russia, however, it has stayed more or less stable. How can we determine the impact of the SME ecosystem on the economy? Can SMEs become a driver of economic growth in Russia? What could explain such a huge difference in SME development levels? How were high GDP shares for SMEs achieved in the worlds leading economies? Are these mechanisms applicable to Russia? What factors can drive the growth of SMEs? How can Russian small and medium-sized enterprises integrate into the supply chains of foreign businesses?
Macroeconomic Policy: From Stabilization to Growth
Following the shock of falling oil prices and sanctions in 20142016, the Russian economy has stabilized. The decline in GDP has turned into growth, the economy is now structured along healthier lines, and inflation is on its planned course although just a year ago, few people believed that 4% was attainable. The new challenge facing Russia is to ensure a rate of growth which exceeds the global average. What should be prioritized in development strategies? Where might a new driver for the economy be found? What changes to policy are needed, and what support measures could provide solutions for the current situation?
The economist, author of the sensational book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, will speak about the need to develop an economic model to get the world out of the current period of instability and into the New Economy era.
Russia— Serbia: perspectives of economic cooperation
Traditional friendship, cultural, linguistic and religious similarity and closeness characterize Russian-Serbian relations. Russia is a strategic, political and economic partner, as well as one of the leading foreign trade partners of Serbia. Serbia was and to this day remains Russias key partner in South-Eastern Europe. However, are good political relations and an active political dialogue at the highest level accompanied by equally good economic cooperation? Which areas of the Serbian market are the ones that could use stronger presence of Russian companies and Russian capital, where are the unused hidden potentials? Are there any other areas Serbian economy has to offer for further developing and collaboration, besides the already traditional agricultural products export and construction services? Perhaps tourism and the auto industry?
Free trade and e-commerce erase boundaries for consumers, opening up access to the global market for goods and services. This creates new opportunities for Russian exporters and their products: with the creation of recognized brands, Russian entrepreneurs can create product loyalty for goods and services the world over. What brand attributes should customers gain from the Made in Russia label? How can Russian exporters build recognition in key export markets and what experience from other countries is relevant? What support systems and services should underpin a national brand in order to secure the substantial growth of a value-added good or service?
Faith in philanthropy: from ethical guidelines to professional standards
Over the last 20 years, the charitable sector in Russia has changed and grown significantly, now generating a couple of hundred billion roubles. And, like any other sector, the level of professionalism is increasing. According to polls, people are not yet willing to support this trend towards professionalization. The general public is extremely wary of contributing to administrative overheads, and salaries at market rates are unacceptable in this sector, as is expenditure on marketing. And there is no room for mistakes. The defining feature of the public mood is a lack of trust in charitable foundations. One of the reasons for this is insufficient transparency in the sector itself, the absence of any clear, well-understood and, most importantly, generally accepted standards. Does the sector need its own specific professional standards? Which good practices could be borrowed from other sectors, and in particular from the world of business? How could such standards be promoted? How could work to influence public opinion be taken forward?
Reconciling growth and security strategies for the global economy
The global economy has more than doubled in size since 2000, reaching a peak of USD 78.6 trillion in 2014, and the World Bank is projecting 3.5% growth for 2017. Can stable growth be maintained under the current conditions, or should there be a shift in emphasis towards sustainable development, giving priority to long-term social and ecological aspects? Is it possible to have inclusive growth in the future? What might be the impact of deceleration and, in some sectors, outright reversal of globalization? How might the major global economies adjust their investment strategies? And how should business adjust to shifting sentiments for economic security?
While the global population is expected to increase by 2.5 billion people, the percentage of that population residing in urban areas will grow from 54% to 66% by 2050. This massive shift towards urbanization creates huge challenges for policymakers and municipal authorities, and rich opportunities for companies and entrepreneurs offering solutions to urban management problems. Particularly as cities and economies compete for skilled talent, creating a comfortable urban environment is now a national strategic priority. What are some of the key smart city innovations and solutions that can have an impact on urban management and how should boardrooms respond to these massive demographic trends? How can national identity be maintained while seeking to concentrate human and technological potential in urban areas at a time of economic globalization? How can we make all cities in the country, regardless of their size, more comfortable and attractive for living?
Amidst the new economic conditions, venture investments in high-tech companies can be very attractive, promising high returns but they remain highly risky. What are the new approaches on the venture investment market? How should the risks of venture investments be assessed? What determines the investors decision and how should profitability and risk be balanced? What success stories are there on the global venture investment market?
Destination Russia – shifting trends towards domestic and incoming tourism
Tourism is a sector demonstrating sustained growth and ranks third amongst global export sectors. The tourism industry accounts for 7% of global exports overall, and almost one third of global services exports. The number of international trips is growing by an average of 4% every year. In addition, tourism produces a powerful synergistic effect. The rising tourist flow is ensuring increased revenues for 53 economic sectors which contribute to creating the tourism product, multiplying employment and self-employment, assisting in the development of small and medium-sized enterprises and involving them in export activity, improving living conditions for local populations, and smoothing imbalances in regional development. Russia has become one of the ten most visited countries in the world, and in 2016 was ranked forty-third in the World Economic Forums Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, moving up two places compared with the previous year and overtaking Turkey. What needs to be done to maintain this positive trend and consolidate Russias position on the global tourism market?
Is there an employment cost to agro-industrial innovation?
Agriculture is one of the few sectors in the Russian economy experiencing rapid expansion, generating strong returns while contributing to global and regional food security and spurring exports. Recent investments have led to a rise in quality and reduced losses during storage and transportation, while margins have been maintained. But more work remains to be done. What areas of Russian agro-industry are a priority for investment and development? How might expanded participation by foreign firms and shifts in global demand structure impact the sector over the next decade? What steps should be taken to further promote and stimulate domestic production and what is the right balance of import substitution and exports? What do businesses and the state need to do to support economic and social stability in the agricultural sector while establishing an environment in which innovation can be introduced to the industry?
Isolationist tendencies are gaining ground across the world: this can be seen with Brexit and with the rhetoric coming from the US Government and many European politicians. Does this mean that we will be seeing trends towards a reversal of globalization, particularly on financial markets? Russia is an example of an open financial market with liberal legislation. On the other hand, there are countries with successfully developing economies like China, for example which have significant limitations on cross-border financial transactions. What model is the most effective for developing economies? Throughout the world, national legislation with respect to financial institutions is becoming stricter, complicating the work of traditional banks and stock exchanges in global markets. At the same time, new digital solutions in the financial sector have no regard for national borders and jurisdictions. A process of disintermediation the removal of the intermediary functions of financial organizations is under way. What is the future of traditional financial institutions in these circumstances?
The coming revolution in hyper-smart power systems
Transformations in the global power industry are sending waves of change over the energy landscape. Advancements in generation, delivery, and storage technology and new ways of managing power systems of various scales are opening up new opportunities for the development of both conventional and renewable energy. In addition to the basic elements of the power industry generation, distribution, and consumption the new element of storage is emerging, which is capable of re-formatting the system and transforming electricity from a service to a tradable commodity. The introduction of smart networks and digital substations, the development of customer services, and solutions for commercial accounting of bidirectional energy transactions for power-generating consumers are all not only driving a shift towards smart power systems, but also setting up serious changes in the global energy mix. How should Russia act, within the scope of its energy policy, to accommodate these trends? How can maintaining the competitiveness of conventional energy exports be smoothly combined with participating in the sectors IT race? How can Russia become a global leader in providing technological solutions for the smart power industry of the future?
Injecting dynamism in the Russian Far East economy
The Russian Far East remains a strategic priority for Russian regional policy, and in that light, efforts to strengthen its competitive advantage throughout the Asia-Pacific region are continuing. The main aim of the new government policy in the Far East is to create a high quality of life for the local population by building modern manufacturing facilities and creating new jobs, and by ensuring increased economic freedom and opportunities for people to develop their potential. Taking into consideration the natural limitations of the Far East, these issues can only be addressed within the framework of a new economic development model. The government has taken some initial steps, by creating advanced special economic zones and Vladivostok Free Port, and by introducing new support mechanisms for investment projects, giving people free land for business and personal use, and much more besides. Over a period of less than two years, more than 600 new private investment projects, worth a total of USD 35 billion, have been launched. What kind of innovative solutions are being used to build a new economy in the Russian Far East? Do they ensure that the Russian Far East will be internationally competitive? How do private investors from Russia and the Asia-Pacific region assess the new economic conditions in the Far East? What kinds of new projects can guarantee an economic leap forward for Russias Eastern territories? What else should be done in order to create more economic freedom for business and in daily life in the Far East?
Not only has the term big data become a part of todays business vocabulary, it is a new reality for companies. The widespread use of new gadgets and Internet services, together with the development of cloud technologies and the Internet of Things, has facilitated the collection of huge data sets, including user data and detailed information about Internet users. The analysis and application of this data has become a new source of growth for many businesses, and even entire sectors. For companies which gather data, trading raw and processed data has become essential, sometimes representing a major part of their income. People have begun to call big data the new oil. What kind of role does big data play in the incipient digital economy? Is this oil simply a new commodity? Or, to continue the analogy with natural resources, is it an asset owned by the whole nation? How can opportunities for business growth be combined with social responsibility? How can we avoid infringing the right to a private life when building this new economy? What kind of balance should be struck between state regulation and self-regulation of the business community?
The B20 International Trade and Investment Forum is a joint event of the B20, the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs engaging various stakeholders participating in SPIEF 2017 in discussions on international trade and investment. Heads of major companies and business associations, senior government officials from B20 countries, high-ranking representatives of international organizations, and experts will discuss the B20s recommendations to government leaders on increasing the transparency and effectiveness of international trade and investment policies. This session will enhance the involvement of business leaders, authorities, and the media in public discussion of B20 recommendations in the area of international trade and investment.
• Reinforcement of the WTO rules-based multilateral trading regimes
• Creation of favourable conditions for facilitating digital trade
• Bolstering a legislative framework for digital trade development
• Creation of a regulatory environment encouraging the investment required for sustainable growth
• Alignment of approaches towards multilateral investment regimes
Antimonopoly regulation is a crucial element of domestic economic policy, in that it creates competitive market conditions and prevents excessive monopoly practices. In particular, enhanced antimonopoly legislation is essential for the smooth development of the digital economy in Russia. Can the existing antimonopoly system adequately assess the dynamics of market development when it comes to digital technology? What challenges does the innovative digital environment pose for antimonopoly regulation? What regulatory and operational aspects need substantial adjustment?
The foremost objective of a tax system today is to stimulate business and economic activity and attract investment so as to create a competitive environment for the development of enterprises. To this end, existing fiscal benefits must be streamlined and made more targeted while ineffective tools should be quickly jettisoned. At the same time, the tax system must remain competitive, comprehensible, and as transparent and predictable as possible. How should the Russian tax system be revamped? How can we preserve the sustainability of the budget system and make sure the states social obligations are met? What should investors expect in the near future? Can new tax administration technologies help reduce the burden on business of calculating taxes?
Project planning and its impact on the budgetary process
Project activity by the Russian Government is primarily aimed at focusing the administrative and financial resources required for fulfilling specific tasks. The action plan for implementing project activity calls for amendment of the strategic planning legislation, the tax code, and the state programme development procedure. Creating a transparent management system, which would ensure alignment of the project approach and results-oriented budgeting methods, is another crucial task. What project management tools can be used to ensure maximum efficiency? How can the strategy, government programmes, and budgetary process be efficiently linked to project planning? Are there lessons that can be learned from the corporate sector, especially considering the rules and specifics of management within government bodies?
Transfer to a digital economy with information as the most valuable asset is a top priority target for many states nowadays. Russia is setting up a program for development of the digital economy, and 5G network is a technological platform for the new economic model. Are Russian investments, technological & human capacities sufficient to take up challenges of the digital economy? What are the prospects of 5G implementation? What are the first results of big data use for state administration?
Global gas markets: energy policy and energy security
The key factors influencing the current globalization of the gas market are increased gas supply from non-traditional sources, the growth in liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading, and the shift from long-term contracts to spot pricing. Together, these factors pose a significant threat to exports of Russian gas, in terms of both volumes and price conditions. Politically motivated institutional barriers are currently being erected in Europe, hampering the implementation of a number of important infrastructure projects aimed at diversifying gas supplies and reducing transit risks. Export gas shipments from Russia are increasing, however: growth stands at 15% since the beginning of 2017. The rise in LNG supply, including from the US, is intensifying competition on the global market, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region, where Russia has been making great efforts to diversify its exports. What should Russias gas export strategy be in these conditions? Will the global gas market map change in the near future? Will it be possible to expand the geographical scope of Russian gas supplies? Can solutions to the key problems regarding the construction of major gas transport infrastructure projects be identified?
Getting ahead of the competition: factors for success in the 21st century
The competition between industries, countries, companies and individuals is growing. How to succeed in this race and not to lose? What factors can lead to success? During the Fourth Industrial Revolution, one crucial factor was added to the traditional strengths, which are inclusive institutions and strong leaders. The factor in question is access to cutting-edge technologies. The explosive growth of technologies leads to qualitative changes in business and management. What leadership skills will help to remain relevant in the face of large-scale technological disruptions and benefit from them? What investments in human capital will be the most effective during the time of change and help increase the competitiveness of countries, companies and leaders?
The visible hand: the growing impetus of state-directed capitalism
Deceleration of global growth is calling into question the current market economy system where the benefits of free trade and technological progress are redistributed among a limited number of participants and social fairness is ensured through growth of national wealth. Boardrooms must now react to a more assertive government direction in corporate decision-making, including trade, investment, and technology strategies. Are we witnessing the start of a transformation of the capitalist model? How are these new interventionist policies impacting global trade and investment and what should business do to successfully navigate these trends?
Over the past decade, major economies have launched an unprecedented race to conclude preferential agreements, with their number exceeding 400. The US and the EU were on the verge of megadeals to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and proposals are circulating for setting up a global trade regulation system as an alternative to the World Trade Organization. However, on January 23, 2017, the US President signed an executive order on US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Does this mark the end of globalization in the modern era and the start of a new surge of national protectionism? Does the WTO have a chance to rehabilitate itself in the eyes of global trade parties, or can we expect the US to try and exercise new regulatory tools to govern trade?
The mission of multilateral financial institutions in the global economy
Mobilizing and allocating resources for infrastructure development, environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, resource security, and healthcare: the mission and vision of a modern development bank is multifaceted and of enormous importance in driving global growth. How can multilateral development banks play a key role in mobilizing private sector investment for targeted development goals and where do we expect the banks to have the biggest impact over the coming five to ten years?
On the back of growing availability of domestic-made goods coupled with increasingly savvy customers who are sensitive to both price and quality, the competition to service the Russian consumer sector has heated up. What will the Russian consumer market look like as the recovery accelerates? What does business need to do to prepare for the new conditions? What can be done to stimulate consumption and what products might become the drivers of consumer demand?
The development of the legal audio and video content market
The international market for audio and video content is growing exponentially. According to experts, the online streaming market alone will grow by more than 9.3% over the next few years, reaching around USD 74 billion by 2024. Revenue from subscription services will surpass that from services operating on an advertising-based model, reaching USD 21.6 billion by 2021. In Russia, the online streaming market increased by 17% to RUB 7.4 billion in 2016. In the medium term, the growth of this sector will depend as much on effective Internet copyright protection as on the regulation and development of services offering online streaming. Does the increased share of subscription services in the online streaming market signal the end for the advertising-based revenue model? What is the optimum business model for the regulation and development of services which offer users convenient access to high-quality, affordable legal audiovisual content?
Public–private partnership for development: mechanisms and benefits
The private sector participates in sustainable development programmes, which are seen as part of corporate social responsibility and investment in human capital. By combining economic interests with contributions towards the development of countries and regions, companies are better able to manage the risks associated with emergency situations, and to present themselves as responsible representatives of the business community which subscribe to the Sustainable Development Goals. Russia is one of the leading donor countries to international development aid programmes. Yet Russian businesses thus far have little experience of involvement in these programmes. The required publicprivate partnership mechanisms are not well developed, there is no vision or strategy for collaborative efforts in this area, and businesses often do not understand the value of these programmes or their potential benefits, including in the context of promoting their interests in a particular region. Why do new epidemic diseases pose a threat to the economy and to security? What kind of losses do investors sustain as a result of infectious diseases? How and why do global business leaders take part in international development aid programmes? How can the Russian experience of publicprivate partnership with RUSAL in the fight against Ebola in Guinea be harnessed in other regions? Inclusive investment: is investment necessary in order to reduce the losses incurred due to epidemic diseases? What kind of publicprivate partnership approaches and tools exist in the development sector? What is the outlook for the role of private Russian funds in international development aid programmes?
Globalization revisited: is every country on its own now?
Predictions about the advent of a new era in US policy and sweeping changes to past approaches accompanied the arrival of the new US President. In fact, the Trump administration is perpetuating many existing policies albeit with one major exception: it is taking a fundamentally different approach to free trade by rejecting multilateral treaties and essentially declaring a return to bilateral economic relations and the principles of mercantilism. When the worlds largest economy shifts its priorities, it inevitably affects everyone else. How will world trade be structured with Washington pursuing a policy of America First? How will this impact international institutions, and how will the ideas of protectionism change the nature of economic and financial flows? And how should other economies react advocate the adoption of universal rules of the game, or focus on saving themselves?
In discussions about the fourth industrial revolution, a concept which is often mentioned is the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things refers to an ecosystem of objects which are interlinked by means of being connected to the Internet and which are able to collect and share information from the external environment. In the contemporary world, the Internet of Things has already become prevalent in a wide range of technological applications such as the smart home, smart parking systems, and Apple Watch, among others, and offers consumers benefits such as simplifying workflows, ensuring a safe environment, and saving energy. However, the prevalence of data exchange inherent in such systems is raising concerns about security. What steps should be taken to determine and regulate the amount of personal information companies may collect and how they can use it? Will universal rules be developed and applied, or will regulation remain predominantly the purview of individual nations? Are there technical solutions that can ensure that the Internet of Things remains secure and could advances in blockchain provide a solution? What responsibilities do intermediaries between manufacturers and users bear in the event that the manufacturer breaches the users personal data rights?
Localization as a means to create a cluster economy
The shift from a sectoral and silo approach to nurturing inter-industry clusters is a pivotal aspect of Russias development strategy to 2035. The experience of creating cluster ecosystems has boosted development and stimulated small and medium-sized business in the regions; localizing production is proving to be an effective tool in accelerating cluster development. How many and what clusters are needed to ensure well-balanced inter-industry and regional development? What should be done to make industrial cluster projects attractive and thus significantly raise localization thresholds? What is the role of small and medium-sized business in supporting clusters?
The three factors crucial to effectiveness in healthcare
A clear goal has been set for the Russian healthcare system: extend life expectancy to 76 years by 2025. All three dimensions of healthcare, i.e., preventive care, medical treatment, and administration, should serve this end. Success will depend on coordinated efforts by all stakeholders: healthcare executives, regional authorities, representatives of the medical and pharmaceutical industries, scientific and educational communities, doctors, and the population itself. What are the key priorities of the Russian healthcare development strategy for the period to 2025? How should people be motivated to lead a healthier lifestyle, and how should business be incentivized to take care of the health of its employees? What is the formula for efficient healthcare management? What improvements should be made in medical education? What are the best private investment opportunities in healthcare?
The Russian legal system as a factor in attracting investment
Russias legal system has seen a major overhaul in recent years, including a sweeping reform of the Civil Code, changes to the system for resolving economic disputes and the ongoing revision of the monitoring and oversight framework. Modern legal concepts have been introduced that allow for complex investment projects to be carried out, such as representations and warranties, escrow accounts and shareholder agreements. Reorganization of state courts and the introduction of procedures for forming arbitral tribunals and expansion of their powers have enabled parties to resolve economic disputes much faster than before. The legal community is well aware of these changes, but business owners and executives of Russian companies are slow to come on board, as they are used to thinking of English law as the only possible option. What new opportunities does the Russian jurisdiction offer businesses? How effective is the legal protection afforded to foreign investments in Russia? How successful are the measures being implemented to reduce administrative burdens on business? What steps need to be taken and what international best practices could be used to further improve the Russian legal system?
The cooperative movement as a driver of socioeconomic development
Throughout the world, cooperatives are making a significant contribution to sustainable economic development and providing stability in labour markets. People are coming together to form cooperatives on a voluntary basis to solve common economic, social, and cultural issues. Two hundred and fifty million people are working in cooperatives globally (not including external part-time and temporary workers), and in the G20 countries, cooperatives provide jobs for 12% of the entire working population, while the turnover of the worlds 300 largest cooperatives totals approximately USD 2.2 trillion. The worlds largest, the International Co-operative Alliance, represents the interests of close to a record 1 billion individual members. As cooperatives belong to and are run by and serve the interests of their members, they enable effective resolution of economic issues and the development of social and human capital and formation of communities of people, making cooperatives one of the most effective means to maintain economic and social stability. Cooperatives are frequently founded on mutual assistance. As a form of organization, cooperatives demonstrate high rates of survival and sustainability in times of crisis. What is the role of cooperatives globally? What prospects are there for developing the cooperative movement in the Russian Federation? How are cooperatives beneficial in the context of addressing existing social issues and economic challenges?
Russia–Africa: a structural approach to cooperation in the new economic reality
African nations are today playing an increasingly active role in international politics and the world economy, becoming directly involved in decision-making on key issues on the global agenda for the UN, and in other multilateral fora. The Soviet Union made a significant contribution to the social and economic development of African countries, building major industrial and infrastructure facilities and assisting in the creation of national education and healthcare systems. In the 1990s, however, RussianAfrican relations slowed to a near halt. At the present time, trade between the Russian Federation and Africa stands at a maximum of USD 12 billion. But the African continent is a highly promising market for Russian industry, and an important supplier of much-needed raw materials. The key question today is how to set up business partnerships between the Russian Federation and African countries; this would not be possible without substantial support from the Russian Government. What steps must be taken in order to give this bilateral economic partnership fresh impetus?
The publics trust in business is plummeting almost everywhere around the world, and business leaders are struggling to respond. What can be done to reverse this trend? Will digitalization help to increase trust in business or, on the contrary, lead to further mistrust? How can business and government collaborate more successfully? Can companies be both highly profitable and socially responsible? Is philanthropy an integral part of a companys role in the community? When designing their corporate strategies, how much importance should companies place on maximising trust in business?
Education of the future: alternatives and opportunities
The coming decades will be an era of unprecedented change in the world of education. A new global education architecture will emerge. The convergence of academic and technological environments, opportunities for mixed forms of training, and earlier vocational orientation towards new industries are just some of the trends shaping the future of education. A significant number of the breakthrough solutions in this area are being provided not by traditional academic institutions, but instead by new players on the education market: finance and technology companies, scientific associations, and exciting private initiatives. A new transnational market is taking shape, and may soon enough become a notable competitor to traditional educational institutions, transforming education markets and changing the rules of the game. What will education look like in 510 years time? How will new technologies transform traditional formats? How much will the role of business in the development of this sector grow?
The key aim of the Future Preparedness Index project is to analyse the extent to which various countries are prepared to respond to the challenges of tomorrow, and how competitive they are according to a wide range of economic, political, social, cultural, technological, and other criteria. What preliminary results were obtained from the pilot research study? How can the relevance and adequacy of the criteria used be assessed?
Dialogue between business and development institutions: dedication, trust, and effectiveness
Development institutions are government bodies which accumulate financial resources and use them to develop promising sectors of the economy, introduce innovation, and realize important social and infrastructure projects. With their help, many countries have succeeded in modernizing their economies and stimulating growth. However, surveys and studies reveal a lack of awareness and a paucity of trust among Russian businesses with respect to engaging with the support measures that development institutions offer. How successfully are Russian development institutions functioning at the present time? Have they succeeded in creating an effective operating model whereby development institutions complement each others work across the country? Could creating an open communications platform for collaboration between development institutions and business increase the effectiveness of support programmes? What role should major institutions play in creating a communications environment of this kind?
Economic integration and humanitarian activity: a new way to give business a competitive advantage
As it increases its geographical presence and scale of international expansion, business, assessing sources of capitalization growth, is increasingly turning to the resource of public acceptability as the leading factor in ensuring success. In a time of globalization, the battle for technology is giving way to the battle for people and for public recognition. Opportunities and engagement on the part of business are coming together with public demand and government interest, and producing consequences which are enabling us to progress to a new level of humanitarian activity. How can corporate humanitarian activity lead to an increase in capitalization is there practical experience on which to draw? What are the basic elements of corporate humanitarian activity? How can the humanitarian safety of international business projects be guaranteed? Is there a point of intersection between humanitarian activity in support of economic integration and the humanitarian challenges faced by governments?
The SCO and prospects for the development of broad Eurasian partnership
Russia views developing collaboration within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as one of its foreign policy priorities. The Republic of Kazakhstan is chairing the SCO Heads of State Council in 20162017, while Russia chairs the Heads of Government Council.
At the SCO summit in Astana on June 89 this year, India and Pakistan will become full members of the organization. One of the challenges raised by this development will be to ensure that India and Pakistan can be integrated comfortably within the SCOs collaborative framework.
A dominant trend at the present stage in the development of the global economy is the active promotion of regional integration processes. Russia has presented proposals for forming a broad Eurasian partnership, which would include the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the SCO, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). One approach to realizing these proposals will be to join together the building of the EAEU with Chinas Silk Road Economic Belt project which, together with the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, is part of the One Belt, One Road concept. The effective participation of SCO member states in collaborative efforts in this area will doubtless have a positive effect on the resolution of national economic development issues.
Technology and digitalization are going to fundamentally reshape the approach to education over the coming two decades, challenging institutions, businesses, and economies to get ahead of the curve. Students will be able to increasingly take advantage of personal learning tools and have more choice, curricula will place greater emphasis on project-based field experience, and teaching will become more about mentoring and shepherding students through a jungle of information. What educational institutions and societies are already demonstrating leadership in creating student ownership of digitally integrated approaches to education? And how will such approaches impact the future of employment and economic competitiveness?
E-commerce sales are projected to reach RUB 2.18 trillion by 2020, while at the same time the use of cloud technology is being rapidly adopted, with one in three Internet retailers already using a public cloud platform. More recently, cross-border transactions have increased with Chinese players taking market share. What is the future of Russian e-commerce? What companies are the most frequent users of cloud solutions? What barriers should Russia overcome in order to fully realize its e-commerce potential?
The changing economics of transportation and logistics
The potent combination of innovations in transport, communications, and logistics for goods, services, and people is heralding a change in the way people make decisions on localities. Developments in transport and logistics can play a crucial role in global socioeconomic development, giving rise to new markets, innovative businesses, and new lifestyles, as well as expanding career prospects, and accelerated technological and social trends promise to impact work, life, and urban development. What are the key innovations that are transforming the economics of logistics and distance, and how far in the future will they begin to transform societies? What new business models should we anticipate? What does this mean for an individuals relationship to work and lifestyle choices as distance no longer acts as a major barrier to interaction?
Performance with purpose: focus on the long-term business development in the new time economy
Todays world is characterized by the dynamically changing global reality. However, the speed of changes makes special demands on effective business, thus shaping the driving force of the global economy. Successful business in the 21st century has no boundaries and is focused on a long-term perspective. Such approach makes it necessary to make efforts to improve the quality of products and services as well as implement sustainable development programs and social responsibility of the business. How do sustainable development strategies provide competitive advantages for the companies in global marketplace? Why is it important to invest in shaping of new corporate social responsibility models?
Russia – Germany: ‘smart’ factories – increasing productivity with network technology
The Internet of Things has now reached the manufacturing industry, where it is not only transforming the logic of production, but also presenting challenges to many companies business models. Value chains are becoming networks, products are turning into platforms for innovative services, and real-time data processing is taking on ever-greater significance. It is estimated that just 3.5% of factories around the world are presently connected to the Internet of Things. An enormous market is emerging here: it is quite possible that, in 10 years time, 75% of all production sites will be connected to digital networks. The demand for data analysis services in manufacturing is already soaring. How can businesses participate in these transformations? Why is it advisable for businesses, and for medium-sized manufacturers in particular, to join this trend as soon as possible? How is intelligent data analysis helping to increase the productivity of manufacturing facilities?