A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation – a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 126 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 69 countries worldwide.

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Inequality: A Barrier to Economic Growth
22 January 2020
12:00—13:00
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Inequality, on the one hand, incentivizes people to develop and, on the other hand, imposes constraints on most that hinder development. The most important way to fight inequality is to find the ‘golden mean’ between the ideas of capitalism and socialism, to ensure balance and sustainability of economic and social systems.

Inequality is not only a social problem, but also an acute political one. The perception of inequality is far more important than the numbers themselves and than all the practical efforts made by politicians and economists — Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director, Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club; Chief Editor, Russia in Global Affairs Journal.

There is a gap between wealth, values and opportunity. There is an internal conflict in this. And this phenomenon has been reproduced many times throughout human history — Ray Dalio, Founder, Chief Investment Officer, Bridgewater Associates.

Inequality is an economic problem, not just a social and political one. Mature companies create the rules of the game in order to control competition as much as possible. Global pseudomonopolism seriously constraints progress. Large platform solutions easily suppress competitors — Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation (2016-2020).

Technologies help make people’s rights equal — Tigran Khudaverdyan, Managing Director, Yandex.

Balance and sustainability are key issues on the world agenda. The balance between consumption and investment is important — Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation (2016-2020).

ISSUES
Inequality is an immanent part of human nature

The world is like a mechanism where people are chasing their interests. What matters is who makes the decisions and what they do in order to achieve their goals. Technology serves the economy, productivity and military power. <...> It is a power game — Ray Dalio, Founder, Chief Investment Officer, Bridgewater Associates.

Macroeconomic prerequisites for deepening inequality actually exist

The world lacks efficient long-term monetary policies. The interest rate around zero leads to the fact that the possibility of influencing the economy with monetary funds is significantly limited and the deficit is inevitable. A new major power, a third major power — China — is emerging to challenge the US, so conflict is inevitable — Ray Dalio, Founder, Chief Investment Officer, Bridgewater Associates.

In Russia, the level of inequality is unacceptable, and in recent years it has tended to decrease, but this is not happening fast enough — Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation (2016-2020).

Capitalism is a system of chasing profits, which causes further income gaps. According to statistics, in the US 40% of the population, would not be able to attract USD 400 in case of emergency — Ray Dalio, Founder, Chief Investment Officer, Bridgewater Associates.

Technology can exacerbate inequality

We are witnessing technological protectionism from developed countries, which is blocking opportunities for education and obtaining technology. Companies that use AI can double their revenues in ten years. This process will be accompanied by an escalation of global social inequality. It has reached its highest levels since its last peak in the 30s and 40s of the last century — Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation (2016-2020).

The globalization of platform solutions affects inclusiveness. Choosing a platform involves a choice of services and companies. Universal monopolization occurs, if there are no protective barriers. When choosing a platform, people are forced to choose a wide range of services. Russia is the first country where buying a phone, consumers can choose a search engine. Lack of this choice is a threat to services — Tigran Khudaverdyan, Managing Director, Yandex.

SOLUTIONS
Using macroeconomic regulation methods

It is important who gets the added value. In China and India, tens of millions of people have come out of poverty, and in the United States we witness a super concentration of income in companies. Unregulated monopolies are beginning to dominate, and they are not limited to just one country. Let’s introduce global regulation and taxation for global companies. Previously, regulation happened at the production location, now it is at the location of consumers. This is a challenge for the world economy for the next 5–10 years — Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation (2016-2020).

Using new technologies and ensuring technological sovereignty

Uber and Grab platforms have completely transformed the logistics industry and made it easier to access. People have absolutely equal access to both jobs in the industry and services as consumers — Tigran Khudaverdyan, Managing Director, Yandex.

Russia has a full range of its own technologies. There are very few such countries. This is a very important component. Will Russia remain in the top league of IT technologies owners in 20 years? It is a question for the regulator. The Internet has become a part of life for millions of people. The lack of regulation is unacceptable, but freedom is necessary for development — Tigran Khudaverdyan, Managing Director, Yandex.

Working together to overcome inequalities

Technological inequalities leave entire countries behind in terms of development prospects. Social inequality has serious medium- and long-term consequences; it is a question of human capital quality, as well as access to education and equal opportunities. The whole world needs to work together to address the problems that hinder the development of equal opportunities — Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation (2016-2020).

Global change in values

We have enough resources. It is important how we build relationships with each other to work efficiently — Ray Dalio, Founder, Chief Investment Officer, Bridgewater Associates.

The most important thing is to instill norms and values, and then comes education. The revolution of education is in the values and skills we teach. In the United States, the bigger the city, the better education. We have to fight it. Personal vested interests can also be a barrier to education and technology, such as the personal goals of the teachers’ union, which may be opposed to new methods in education — Ray Dalio, Founder, Chief Investment Officer, Bridgewater Associates.

Modernizing education

Technologies play a crucial role in fighting inequality in education — Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation (2016-2020).

Our children will probably change occupations several times. One needs to get a good education, and technology becomes part of it, too. Let’s take Yandex Textbook platform. Small town kids can get a better education with them than without — Tigran Khudaverdyan, Managing Director, Yandex.

Reinterpreting the role of media and information

The media is becoming increasingly polarized and fragmented. There were 3 news channels in the middle of the last century, which united us. Back then, journalism meant a common approach to reporting, while now it is fragmented. The very nature of the media has changed: it used to be a means of communication, and now social networks are seen as an ideological tool. The main news is sensations, fake stories about cruelty and evil (fake news) — this is how opinions are formed — Ray Dalio, Founder, Chief Investment Officer, Bridgewater Associates.