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 Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

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 159 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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Interaction Between Government, Business and Public: What the Pandemic Has Changed
4 June 2021
17:00—18:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Pandemic has accelerated the interaction between authorities, business and society

In my opinion, the COVID pandemic has not changed the trends related to interaction between business, society and authorities, but rather has accelerated and boosted them. And accelerated more than boosted. If we talk about the relationship between business and authorities, the situation where the society demonstrates greater demand for justice and many expect business to be actively involved in social agenda is not new, it emerged long before 2020. <…> What has been happening during the pandemic and what Severstal was actively involved into is a continuation and a part of what we have been doing for years, — Alexey Mordashov, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Severstal.

The government shut down the whole economy, it did not happen even during the war. <…> And it provided salaries and pensions, of course <...> For a year the government debt was at the level of the previous eight years. <…> Why did people say nothing? They were at home, could not spend money, but still received this money <…> the bankruptcy level dropped by 38%. It means that the government supported the companies that otherwise were to go bankrupt, — Philippe Pegorier, Correspondent in Russia, MEDEF International.

We can see three global trends in changing relationships between state, business and society in a broader sense. First, during the pandemic <…> we saw a significant strengthening of the role of the state. Second, which is related to the first, the state is experiencing much more new influences, — Tadzio Schilling, Chief Executive Officer, Association of European Businesses.

During the pandemic business has shown its ethical side

Any serious business, without exception, is deeply and highly ethical. And it is not because businessmen are very ethical. Like average Russians, businessmen have the same imprints of negative aspects of behaviour distinctive for a Russian person. <…> What is ethics? This is a behaviour defined by a specific set of values. My beliefs and experiences tell me that there is a set of values that makes a business successful. And these are always the values that we usually call highly ethical <…> because they are about people. Business is done by people, and to ensure the best results, you need to attract the best people, motivate, inspire and organize them, — Alexey Mordashov, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Severstal.

The pandemic has revealed a significant demand for trust and for information as a way to justify this trust. People have suffered from uncertainty, they have been waiting for some simple and clear answers that nobody has had, and it was a real challenge for CEOs and company owners, — Andrei Sharonov, President, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO .

To a large extent, people were united, and it was also about relationships within teams, and also from the point of view of the behavior of owners, when owners of large companies <...> took responsibility not only for their employees and for their families, but for the population, for towns, monotowns, big cities, and they spent a lot of money <...> and in this sense, the owners demonstrated a highly ethical approach, — Andrei Sharonov, President, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO .

ISSUES
It is too early to talk about the end of the crisis caused by the pandemic

Not only the beginning of the crisis and its consequences, but also the recovery process has significantly varied across countries. Russia did relatively well. Also in Europe, there are countries like Germany that survived the crisis relatively well, and there are countries that are still in deep crisis, — Tadzio Schilling, Chief Executive Officer, Association of European Businesses.

Who said that we are now in post-pandemic reality? The first quarter of 2021 was much worse than the third and the fourth quarters of 2020. In fact, it is only now that we are beginning to face certain things. First, the time has come to pay off those support measures that were not gifts, but some kind of restructuring, and they must be returned. And second, there was a real drop in demand <…> People broke free and went shopping, but now they are back to everyday life, to a normal situation that is indicative of the state of the economy. <...> Small business revenues fell by 19%, minus 19% in the first quarter, — Boris Titov, Presidential Commissioner of the Russian Federation for the Protection of Entrepreneurs’ Rights.

Trend for priority solution of social issues may have a bad impact on Russia

Unfortunately, strengthening of the state, socialism and populism are among things that might await us. Russia has not gone through the stage of rapid capitalist market growth, and it will find itself hostage to this situation, and we might not be able to keep our head above water, — Boris Titov, Presidential Commissioner of the Russian Federation for the Protection of Entrepreneurs’ Rights.

SOLUTIONS
Establishing dialogue, digitalization

People, leaders, owners must find courage and a balance that will allow them to neither keep silent nor lie <…> but communicate with their people in a right way. I saw the surveys: during self-isolation ongoing dialogue was among the most important things for people. They were not feeling safe anymore, — Andrei Sharonov, President, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO .

The digitalization of public services has notably developed in interaction between state, business and society. I believe that this process will only gain pace. In this respect Russia, and we are happy to say this, occupies a leading position even in relation to Europe, where the level of digitalization of tax and other services is lower than that of the Federal Tax Service of Russia, — Tadzio Schilling, Chief Executive Officer, Association of European Businesses.

Support measures from state and business

People are expecting that the economic system and business (as its active participant) will ensure that people are more involved in it, benefit from it and revenues are distributed more fairly. <...> COVID has just pushed us to a more sharp and fast response under these conditions, but I think that the trends are still there. And they will survive COVID, and we will have to interact with regions more actively. The only thing that COVID will transform is technology <...> Our view of technology has changed, — Alexey Mordashov, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Severstal.

The future of economic growth recovery, economic well-being now mostly depend on additional support measures that will be extended by governments, and also on the success of our collective vaccination efforts, — Tadzio Schilling, Chief Executive Officer, Association of European Businesses.