Gaidar Forum 2016 Opens

On 13 January in Moscow, in the framework of the VIIth Gaidar Forum 2016, the international conference "Russia and the World: Looking to the Future" was launched.


Over 11.7 thousand persons registered for participation in the current conference, an impressive rise on the 7 thousand participants registered at the previous conference. The forum was attended by representatives of about 70 foreign countries. The USA, the United Kingdom and China were the most heavily represented countries.


In the morning on the first day, several panel discussions took place. One of them was devoted to Strategy-2030: The Outlines of the Long-term Socio-Economic Development of the Russian Federation. The panel discussion was moderated by Alexander Ivlev, Managing Partner for Russia, EY, and participated by RF Minister of Economic Development Aleksey Ulyukaev; RF Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov; RF Minister Mikhail Abyzov; RFTA Rector and Scientific Supervisor of the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy Sergey Sinelnikov-Murylev; Dean of the Faculty of Economics of M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University Alexander Auzan; Chairman of the RF State Duma’s Committee on Budget and Taxes Andrey Makarov; and First Vice Rector of the National Research University Higher School of Economics Lev Jakobson.

Strategy-2030 is a backbone document for strategic planning, which defines the basic principles of the constructive interaction of the state authorities with the entrepreneurial business community and with civil society for the purposes of protecting Russia’s national interests, fostering her social and economic development, and improving the standards and quality of life in the Russian Federation.

The panel discussion focused on the following issues: the key trends and challenges to be taken into account when determining Russia’s strategic agenda in a 2030 perspective; the fundamental strategic objectives to be embedded in the new social and economic development strategy; the main tasks and objectives of Strategy-2030 in the public administration system.


The RF Government has launched the elaboration process of the Social and Economic Development Strategy of the Russian Federation for the Period Until 2030. According to Aleksey Ulyukaev, long-term strategizing is worth seriously contemplating because of its huge advantages. ‘Target indication, determination of the outlines that, on the one hand, correspond to the existing fundamental constraints, and, on the other hand, create challenges that are conducive to mobilization of the economy’s internal potential. We must act on the basis of target indication which points to the existing risks. A correct risk assessment in the course of strategizing will result in a correct economic policy development’, said the Minister.

According to the Minister of Economic Development, there is a risk that the consumer behavior of Russia’s population will change soon, shifting fr om the model of consumption to the model of saving. Personal deposits have grown by about 15%. ‘People are beginning to assess their prospects differently, they are becoming adepts of the ‘new normality’. On the

one hand, this situation carries some risk, but on the other hand, it can become a development driver. If the corresponding resources and instruments are properly managed, robust savings activities can create a resource that can form a sound foundation for a considerable growth of investment in intellect and conservation technologies’, said Aleksey Ulyukaev.

The Minister pointed out yet another risk to worry about: global capital markets will remain closed for Russian borrowers. On the other hand, this situation creates a challenge, and a new reality characterized by the switchover from a model based on borrowing to a model based on transformation of internal savings into internal capital accumulations.

Anton Siluanov believes that adaptation of the state budget and the public sector of the economy to the new conditions should become the key objective for Russia’s economy. ‘In cooperation with the revenue administrators in the person of the tax and customs services, we continue our efforts to increase revenue collection for the sake of the state budget. One of our aims is to receive more than 1 trillion rubles from the sale of state-owned properties over the course of two years’. Also, the RF Government is planning to ‘engage’ Russia’s non-distributed resources – the money accumulated in the Reserve Fund, and to further toughen its budgetary policy.

RF Minister Mikhail Abyzov described the possible structure of the new strategic document. ‘The most important thing is to form an effective ‘dashboard’, a kind of a tonometer, composed of major sets of goals, designed to check our long-term operational plans against the long-term objectives in order to timely change them, and to see whether we are right in cutting or increasing some or other expenditures’, said the Minister.

Scientific Supervisor of the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy Sergey Sinelnikov-Murylev believes that the current state of Russia’s foreign economic activities is very bad. ‘We dropped by 15 positions in the Doing Business ranking and slipped to the 170th rank in the ‘Trading Across Borders’ indicator. At the same time, we rose by 10 positions in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking. Other countries are doing a lot, while we are doing almost nothing.’

According to Dr. Sinelnikov-Murylev, in order to implement Strategy-2030, Russia will need to focus, among other things, on rendering support to non-raw materials exports and on trade liberalization. ‘The current crisis is not cyclic but structural. In 2030, the demand for Russian resources will not be as large as in the 2000s. At that time, Russia was the 5th largest economy in the world, while now we are sixth in this ranking. The 50-dollar drop in the price of oil has deprived our GDP of 150 billion dollars. If the current trends continue, we will decline still further’. In this connection, ‘exports must be supported. Non-raw material exports account for about 60% of Russia’s total exports’.

The panel discussion chaired by Igor Agamirzyan, Genaral Director and Chairman of the Board of OJSC Russian Venture Company, focused on The National Report on Innovations in Russia. This document is designed to become a practical tool for quantitative assessment and adjustment of the priorities and directions of Russia’s innovative policies, as well as for the restart of the system of monitoring and investment promotion tools. The panel discussion was participated by State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Oleg Fomichev; Senior Partner and Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group Vladislav Boutenko; Deputy General Director of CJSC Argus-Spectr Mikhail Levchuk; President of Strategy Partners Group Alexander Idrisov; Head of the Investment Project and Program Directorate, CJSC Leader, and Managing Director of CJSC Leader Sergey Kerber; General Director of the Russian Quantum Center Ruslan Yunusov.

The panel discussion Social Problems in the Context of a Structural Crisis was moderated by Director of the Institute of Social Analysis and Forecasts at RANEPA Tatyana Maleva. Its participants discussed the following issues: the social consequences of the 2014-2015 economic crisis; the ways to fulfill social obligations against the backdrop of dwindling financial resources; the ‘safety margins’ of social institutions and social actors; the dilemma of whether to save money or to invest in the social sphere; whether an economic crisis is capable of giving an impetus to adopting efficient long-term decisions in the field of social development.

The participants in the discussion were as follows: RF Minister of Labor and Social Protection Maxim Topilin; Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences of St. Petersburg State University and Chief Researcher of the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy Aleksey Kudrin; Chairperson of the Committee on Labor, Social Policy and Veterans’ Affairs of the RF State Duma Olga Batalina; RF Minister of North Caucasus Affairs Lev Kuznetsov; Director of the Regional Program of the Independent Institute for Social Policy Natalia Zubarevich.


The panel discussion Credit Ratings as a factor in the Development of the Infrastructure of Russia’s Financial Market was held by the Analytical Credit Rating Agency and chaired by its General Director Ekaterina Trofimova. The year 2015, marked by the adoption of the law on rating activities, was a turning point in the history of the Russian credit rating industry. Investors expect that the newly formulated regulatory requirements will lead to a greater efficiency of the rating industry. In this connection, the participants in the discussion discussed the following issues: the changes in store for the rating market; the possible change in the role of credit rating in financial markets; the lessons for Russia to learn from the international experience.

The participants in the discussion were Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Aleksey Moiseyev; Financial Director of the MegaFon company Gevork Vermishyan; General Director of CJSC MICEX Stock Exchange Anna Kuznetsova; Member of the Committee on Budget Issues and Taxes of the RF State Duma Nikolai Gonchar; Director of the Financial Market Development Department of the Bank of Russia Elena Chaikovskaya.

The expert discussion The Future of the Economy of Russia and the World: A Look Through the Audit Efficiency Prism was co-chaired by Chief Auditor of the Bank of Russia Valery Goreglyad and Director of the Institute of Public Administration and Management, RANEPA Igor Bartsits.


Its participants discussed the following issues: the effectiveness of public audit as a tool for ensuring the transition to an innovative economy; the institutional features of public audit; the role of external audit in maintaining efficiency standards and improving the system of company management; the operational effectiveness of external audit; the conflict of expectations in the framework of interaction between an internal audit service and a management team; the problems involved in the performance of internal auditors: their independence, ethics, the company management's vision of the goals and objectives of internal audit; the increasing requirements for professionalism and competence of internal auditors and the need for establishing a national system of internal audit standards and national certification procedures for internal auditors.

The expert discussion was participated by Mikhail Beshmelnitsyn, Deputy Head of the Control Directorate of the President of the Russian Federation; Gennady Bukayev, Head of Rosneft's Internal Audit Service; Alexander Demidov, Deputy Head of the RF Federal Treasury; Erkin Norov, Member of the VTB Bank Management Board; Alexander Turbanov, President of the Russian Central Council of SRO NP 'Audit Chamber'; Chairman of the Department for the Regulation of Financial Institutions at the RANEPA; Oleg Chistyakov, Director of the Internal Audit and Control Division at Sberbank; Leonid Shneydman, Head of the RF Ministry of Finance's Department of Regulations on Accounting, Financial Reporting and Auditing; Oleg Yushenkov, Partner at Ernst & Young (EY).

The Place of Russia in the Food Production World Map was the theme of the expert discussion moderated by Director of the Center for Agrofood Policy at RANEPA Natalia Shagayda.

Its participants focused on the priorities of Russian agricultural policy in the field of import substitution; the possibilities to ensure food security in a country that heavily relied on food imports; and Russia's export potential. Besides, there were presentations on foreign best practices, in particular the USA and The Netherlands.

The moderator of the expert discussion Inflation Targeting in Crisis Conditions was Pavel Trunin, Head of the Macroeconomics and Finance Research Division at the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy. The participants discussed the specific features of the inflation targeting regime under the current macroeconomic conditions in Russia; the prospects for the Bank of Russia's exchange rate policy; the behavior of the real and quoted interest rates in Russia; the existing external conditions for the monetary policy pursued by the Bank of Russia; and the Bank of Russia’s long-term monetary policy strategy.

The expert discussion was participated by Igor Dmitriev, Director of the Bank of Russia's Monetary Policy Department; Maxim Petronevich, Deputy Director of Gazprombank's Center for Economic Forecasting; Vladimir Kolychev, Director of the RF Ministry of Finance's Department of Strategic Planning; Oleg Solntsev, Leading Expert of the Center for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-term Forecasting at the Russian Academy of Sciences; Evsey Gurvich, Head of the Economic Expert Group; and Petr Grishin, Head of Macro Research and Chief Economist for Eastern Europe of VTB Capital.

In the morning on the first day of the conference, the presentation of the rating Innovative Business in Russian Regions took place. The rating developed by the RANEPA with the participation of the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

Presentation of the RANEPA’s Rating >>>

The event was opened by President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov. He noted that this reliable and easily applicable rating was going to be created with the direct participation of Russia’s regions, and expressed his optimistic view of the prospects for developing such a rating.

Ivan Bortnik, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises in Science and Technology, speaking on behalf of innovators and entrepreneurs, assured the audience that the RANEPA’s rating ‘Innovative Business in Russian Regions’ was of a high practical significance, because it was to show wh ere it was most profitable to run an innovative business, and was designed to reflect the real situation based on the results of innovative activities in the regions.


The concept of the rating was explained by Pavel Kadochnikov, Vice Rector of the Russian Foreign Trade Academy. He elucidated the main trends discovered by the developers of the rating in the course of its creation, and informed the audience on the plans for the future – the first operable version of the rating will be announced in spring 2016. Dr. Kadochnikov also noted the advantages of the new rating in comparison with the existing ratings of the regions. He said that the purpose of the rating was to monitor the conditions and development results of innovative (hi-tech) businesses in Russia’s regions.

The target audience for the rating is the federal executive authorities, the executive authorities of the Russian Federation’s subjects, and hi-tech and science-intensive businesses – the entities that can act as funders, investors, entrepreneurs and developers. The RANEPA’s rating ‘Innovative Business in Russian Regions’ is focused on the companies operating in the hi-tech industries characterized by cutting-edge science, because these industries make an immense contribution to the economy and conduce to import substitution as well as to safeguarding national security.

One of the advantages of the RANEPA’s rating consists in the application of quantitative indicators calculated on the basis of objective statistical data (provided by the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat)). In the future, the developers of the rating will continue selection of new quantitative indicators, and further improve the rating methodology.

The representative of the RF Ministry of Economic Development offered a number of comments concerning the improvement of the rating ‘Innovative Business in Russian Regions’ and expressed the Ministry’s readiness to cooperate with the RANEPA in this respect, thus supporting the RANEPA’s idea of developing a practically applicable and reliable rating. In their turn, the governors of a number of Russian regions, who participated in the event, also expressed their support for the RANEPA’s initiative and promised to actively participate in developing the rating. Vera Adaeva, Head of the Special Projects Division of the Department for Development of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives Partner Network, put forth several proposals concerning the ratings methodology and expressed her readiness to cooperate with the project, provided that the regions agree to furnish data collected in the course of the rating’s compilation. Executive Director of the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR) Slava Khodko put forth a proposal that the main ratings currently used for the evaluation of regions and their innovative development should be integrated. In conclusion, it was said that the rating has a good chance to become a standard instrument widely used by both the federal and regional executive authorities and capable of delivering major benefits to hi-tech companies. The participants in the presentation of the RANEPA’s rating agreed to continue their cooperation within the framework of the further discussions at the Gaidar Forum, and to interact more closely with one another in the future.

Another expert discussion held in the morning on the first day of the conference was titled China’s Economy: Possible Development Scenarios and Strategies for Russia. There was also the presentation of the Russian Edition of Barry Eichengreen’s book ‘Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses-and Misuses-of History’.

In the afternoon, the plenary discussion titled Russia and the World: Looking to the Future took place; it was moderated by Rector of the RANEPA Vladimir Mau. The session was opened by Chairman of the RF Government Dmitry Medvedev.

Among the participants in this discussion were Kristalina Georgieva, Vice President for Budget and Human Resources of the European Commission; Barry Eichengreen, Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley; Jacob A. Frenkel, Chairman of JP Morgan Chase International, Governor of the Bank of Israel (1991–2000); Justin Yifu Lin, Professor of Economics at Beijing University, Director of the China Center for Economic Research (CCER); Jan Walliser, Vice President of the World Bank. The discussion was summed up by First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Igor Shuvalov.

In the evening on the first day of the conference, several panel discussions were held, including the discussion National Debt: Vice or Virtue?, chaired by the Board Director of Holding Otkritie Ruben Aganbegyan. The participants in the discussion addressed issues like national debt management policy and fiscal consolidation in the world's leading economies; the attractiveness of national debt as a financial instrument in the modern world; the development of national debt markets denominated in national currencies; the sources for covering the deficit in Russia's federal budget – national debt or the Reserve Fund; the national debt growth cap in Russia; debt policy risks.

Among the participants in the discussion were: Ksenia Yudaeva, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia; Axel A. Weber, Chairman of the Board at UBS Group AG, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank (2004–2011); Maxim Oreshkin, RF Deputy Minister of Finance; Alexey Kudrin, Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at St. Petersburg State University, Chief Researcher of the Center for Macroeconomics and Finance at the Gaidar Institute; Vitor Gaspar, Director of Fiscal Affairs Department at the International Monetary Fund; Oleg Vyugin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of OJSC MDM-Bank; Ekaterina Trofimova, CEO of the Analytical Credit Rating Agency.

The 2015 crisis delivered a painful blow to the budgets of the subjects of the Federation. In this connection, the conference focused, among other things, on the discussion of the Recipes for Balanced Formation of Regional Budgets. The discussion moderators were Chairman of the Committee on Budget and Financial Markets of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Sergey Ryabukhin and Deputy Head of the Department of State Regulation of the Economy at the RANEPA School of Public Policy (ION) Vladimir Klimanov. Its participants attempted to provide answers to the following questions: whether the current budget situation is truly understood by regions and municipalities; how deficit in the regional budgets and further growth of their debt liabilities can be safely avoided; what resources are currently available for the mobilization of revenue sources in the regions and municipalities; which financial resources should be relied on in the course of regional strategizing, and whether long-term budget projections should be obtained for one-year financial planning.

Among the participants in the discussion were Alexey Lavrov, RF Deputy Minister of Finance; Viktor Tolokonsky, Governor of Krasnoyarsk Krai; Vladimir Yakushev, Governor of Tyumen Oblast; Alexander Levintal, Governor of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast; Sergey Morozov, Governor of Ulyanovsk Oblast; Yuri Roslyak, auditor of the RF Accounts Chamber; Maxim Reshetnikov, Minister and Head of the Department of Economic Policy and Development in the Moscow Government.

Director of the All-Russian Market Research Institute (VNIKI) Andrey Spartak and Director General of the World Trade Center Moscow Vladimir Salamatov hosted the panel discussion Russia and Europe: Economic Perspectives, which addressed the following issues: long-term trends, common interests and contradictions in the interrelations between the economies of Russia and Europe; the effects of reciprocal sanctions, the conditions and prospects for restarting the Russian-European relations in the post-sanctions period; the impact of the emerging Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the USA and the EU on the Russian-European economic cooperation; Europe's energy security and the development of competitive energy markets; the new format of Russia's participation in the global and regional integration processes: the EU – Russia – the EEC; Russia between the global integrations in the West and in the East: the Transpacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

The following participants shared their opinions on the issues under discussion: Anatoly Yanovsky, RF Deputy Minister of Energy; Alexey Likhachev, RF First Deputy Minister of Economic Development; Ernesto Ramires Rigo, Mission Chief for Russia of the Internationalого Monetary Fund; Andrei Slepnev, Minister of Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission; Vygaudas Usackas, Head of the European Union Delegation in Russia; Mikhail Vinogradov, President of the St. Petersburg Politics Fund; Petr Fradkov, First Deputy Chairman of State Corporation 'Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs' (Vneshekonombank), General Director of JSC Russian Export Center.

The theme of inequality and economic growth was the focus of the panel discussion Inequality: National and Global Perspectives co-chaired by Director of the RANEPA Center for Russian Studies Carol S. Leonard and Senior Research Fellow of the RANEPA Ivan Lyubimov. The discussion was participated by Branko Milanovich, Presidential Fellow of the City University of New York, Lead Economist of the Research Department of the World Bank (1991–2013); Jack Goldstone, Professor at George Mason University; Maria Kazakova, Deputy Head of the International Fiscal Sustainability Department of the Gaidar Institute; Xiang Zhou, Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University; Anna Lukyanova, Senior Research Fellow of the Center for Labor Market Studies at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE); Natalia Zubarevich, Regional Program Director at the Independent Institute for Social Policy; Avner Offer, Chichele Professor of Economic History at Oxford University; Lilia Ovcharova, Director of the Institute for Social Development Studies; Thomas Frederic Remington, Professor of Political Science at Emory University.

The discussion was focused on the following issues: the implications of the current shifts in the global income and wealth distribution patterns; how the recent significant shifts in deciles in Russia and China launched a new income distribution trajectory in these two countries; how the shifts in the global wealth distribution patterns influenced the living standards and wealth levels.

Another panel discussion that was held on the first day of the conference addressed the theme Human Resources for the New Economy: A Southeastern Vector. It was moderated by Director General of the Agency for the Development of Human Capital Development in the Far Eastern Federal District Valentin Timakov. The participants in the discussion focused on the following issues: the possibility of building an efficient system for the implementation of the National Technology Initiative; the problem posed by the increasing deficit of human resources in some Russian regions, and its possible solution by way of taking advantage of the potential offered by the regions displaying growth of human resources; the opportunities for attracting and keeping human resources inside the Russian Federation, as exemplified by the labor market development in the Far East; the development of professional skills and provision of workforce for employers; the development of a system for professional blue-collar training in order to satisfy the employer needs across the country's territory; a system for sustaining the mobility of human resources in the Russian Federation.


Among the participants in this discussion were: Lev Kuznetsov, RF Minister for North Caucasus Affairs; Sergey Kachaev, RF Deputy Minister for the Development of the Far East; Alexander Klimov, RF Deputy Minister of Education and Science; Mikhail Kirsanov, Director of the Employment Department at the RF Ministry of Labor and Social Protection; Robert Urazov, General Director of the Union 'Agency for the Development of Professional Communities and Skilled Workers (WorldSkills Russia); Alan Ogoev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of North Ossetia – Alania; Yuri Razorenov, Acting Rector of the North Caucasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy; Sergey Ivanets, Rector of the Far Eastern Federal University; Tatiana Terentieva, Rector of Vladivostok State University of Economics and Services (VSUES); Yevgenia Mikhailova, Rector of M. K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University; Tatiana Leonova, Vice Rector of the Far Eastern Federal University; Alina Levitskaya, Rector of the North Caucasus Federal University; Irina Kondratenko, Head of the Human Resources Department at OJSC Far Eastern Center of Shipbuilding and Ship Repairing; Valery Dzgoyev, President of the Public Charity Fund for Education Support Kredo-Znanie.

Within the framework of the conference, Presidential Fellow of the City University of New York and Lead Economist of the Research Department of the World Bank (1991–2013) Branko Milanovich delivered an open lecture 'The Latest Trends in the Distribution of Global Income and Their Political Consequences'.