Socio-economic transformation in the CIS countries: problems and achievements

An international conference called “Socio-economic transformation in the CIS countries: problems and achievements” was held on the 13-14 of September, 2004.

Opening the conference, Yegor Gaidar, director of Institute for Economic Policy, and Vladimir Mau, the rector of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration marked the importance of the forum for understanding the processes of socio-economic transformations taking place on the post-soviet space.

Alexander Zhukov, Deputy Chairman of the Government, was the first to make an appeal to the participants of the forum. In his speech he highlighted that during its 12-year history of the CIS there have never been such a full-scale scientific conference, which would comprehensively consider the interrelated issues of socio-economic development of the countries, whose economy, and not only the economy, but even all their lives are intertwined in recent centuries.

With great attention the participants of the conference heard the report. Future challenges for the countries of the CIS; Marek Dabrowsk fr om the Warsaw-based Centre for social and economic research. In his speech Marek Dabrowski pointed out that it can be difficult to sum up the results of post-communist transformation. Despite the fifteen years that have passed since the beginning of this process in Central Europe, there are still  a number of attempts made to fundamentally argue the course of the rapid market reforms and prove that there was allegedly some other, less painful transformation strategy. However, it is even more difficult to objectively evaluate the results of reforms in CIS countries, wh ere the transition towards the market and democracy process was more complex than in Central European countries.

Anatoly Chubais, the Chairman of the management Board of RAO UES of Russian Federation, Chairman of the electric power Council of the CIS, touched in his speech such important aspects of Russian economic life, as industrial and structural policy. Speaking about the importance of electricity for the economies of member countries of the CIS, he reminded that this sector provides from 3% to 6-7% of their GDP. Besides the parameters of energy consumption, this is one of the fairly representative indicators of the level of life and development of the economy.

Djoomart Otorbaev, Vice-Premier of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, giving a speech on the conference, dwelled on prospects of economic development of Kyrgyzstan. He said that the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic had been working together with the Institute for Economic Policy, in particular on the concept of reforming the tax policy for several months.

The Deputy Minister of Finance of Georgia Lasha Gotsiridze presented a report named “Georgia: strategic vision and key priorities of financial reform for the period 2004-2006”.

The former Prime Minister of Armenia (in 1991 and 1993-1996) Hrant Bagratyan in his speech “Armenia in the transition period: adaptation to the new economic values” focused on the features and problems of post-socialist development of their country. In particular, he expressed the opinion that Armenia should not be involved in the conflict, but act as a mediator between civilizations, economic crossroads of communication of  North and South, East and West, a place of dialogue of different cultures and religions, as well as geographically, economically, ethnically convenient regional financial centre.

Who also took part in the conference:
Anne Krueger, First Deputy managing Director of IMF;
Stanley Fischer, Vice Chairman of Citigroup International, President of Citigroup;
Yevgeny Yasin, academic supervisor of state University HSE;
Shahin Sadikhov, Head of Department of Ministry of economic development of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
Krymbek Kusherbayev, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Russian Federation;
Abdurashid Kadyrov, Director of the  IE ANR Uzbekistan;
Valeriu Capsizu, head of the Department of General Economics and international economic relations of the State University of Moldova, President of NGO; Center for socio-economic and political studies, and others.