The 8th VESTIFINANCE Forum, held at the Digital October Center in Moscow, recently drew to a close. Discussions centred around prospects for the automotive and shipbuilding industries, as well as the economy as a whole. The event brought together entrepreneurs, financial analysts, senior executives from Russian and international companies, and professors and students of leading universities in Moscow. The Forum was organized by the Vesti.Economy web portal and the Roscongress Foundation.
The Forum encompassed a broad range of topics, spanning digitalization, driverless technology, growth in the production and consumption of green energy, and the implementation of new materials and technologies. Nevertheless, the experts present agreed on their overall view on the key trends affecting the evolution of industry. The business programmes first presentation was given by Alexey Rakhmanov, President of United Shipbuilding Corporation, Russias largest ship manufacturer. Rakhmanov outlined his corporations strategy, and also spoke on the growth of cargo turnover, seaborne trade, and the advantages and shortcomings of water transportation. Innovative technologies used in shipbuilding came under particular focus.
«Today, the work of companies operating in the industry largely depends on technological progress. It is vital to keep up with the times and employ new technologies companies which fail to do so will cede a great deal of ground to their competitors. We are currently implementing technologies such as 3D modelling, we use composite materials and honeycomb structures when building our vessels, and employ additive technologies. All of this helps us to remain among the global industry leaders. I believe that in the coming 20 years well see a seismic shift in the development of such technologies. Its crucial not to miss opportunities when they present themselves, and not to be afraid of implementing them,» Rakhmanov said during his presentation.
The second part of the Forum featured a presentation by Vadim Shvetsov, CEO of SOLLERS one of Russias leading automotive companies. Shvetsov began by posing a question: «Will there still be cars in the future?» According to a poll conducted by the company, 55% of people in Russia are not ready to give up their cars. Nevertheless, the transformation of the car is inevitable.
«Today, we are seeing a transformation of the entire industry across the board: cars are becoming electric, and production standards are changing. Roads are changing too, and cars can now connect to the internet and virtually drive themselves. It is a vision of the future which is already upon us. In the coming 20 years, we should expect colossal changes in the way societies operate, and we have to be ready for them,» Shvetsov said. He also predicted that «the first ones to use driverless technology will be cargo transportation companies. If we consider land trains, only the first and the last vehicles will be controlled by a person, with the rest being controlled remotely. In big cities, self‑driving cars will appear later, and will only use specially designated roads.»
The editor-in-chief of Vesti.Economy and the Forums general producer Alexei Bobrovsky drew the conclusions from the event: «The questions from the floor and subsequent discussions have testified to the level of interest from the audience in the issues raised by the speakers. It is important that our participants dont restrict themselves to viewing a topic too narrowly, but rather expand its boundaries, and draw upon other areas, such as industrys impact on the environment and GDP growth. I have every confidence that we will meet again at future VESTIFINANCE events to continue our discussions of some of the most pressing topics facing the economy.»
The next VESTIFINANCE Forum is scheduled for December 2019.