VIIth Gaidar Forum Continues its Sessions

On 14 January, the VIIth Gaidar Forum continued its sessions.


Day 2 of the international conference 'Russia and the World: Looking to the Future' was opened by the panel discussion titled Effective Budgeting in the Healthcare Sector; its moderator was Head of the Department of Management and Economic Development of Healthcare and the System of Compulsory Health Insurance at the Institute for the Development of Additional Professional Education Vitaly Flek. The following issues were offered for discussion: how to properly balance the costs for different healthcare levels; the positive experience in healthcare budget formation at the national and regional levels, or at the level of individual programs launched in the field of healthcare; how to effectively implement innovation technologies in the government healthcare system; the powers to be granted to the government officials responsible for healthcare budgeting.


Among the participants in this discussion were Veronika Skvortsova, RF Minister of Health; Nelly Naygovzina, Deputy Head of the Russian Government Executive Office; Nikita Belykh, Governor of Kirov Oblast; Richard Bergstrom, Director General of the European Federation of the Pharmaceutical Industries & Associations (EFPIA); Jane Griffiths, Company Group Chairman of Janssen Pharmaceutical Division of Johnson&Johnson; Jim Costanzo, Global Health Advisory Leader at Ernst & Young (EY); Eric Cornut, Chief Ethics, Compliance and Policy Officer at Novartis AG.

The discussion was summed up by RF Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova.

The morning session included several roundtables. During the roundtable discussion Russia and the World: Prospects for Trade and Economic Cooperation, experts spoke of the prospects for further integration in the framework of the post-Soviet space, as well as of the possibilities for Russia's participation in other integration projects.

Among the participants in the discussion were: Alexey Portansky, Professor of the Department of World Economy and Politic at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE), Senior Researcher at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations under the Russian Academy of Sciences; David Tarr, Consultant  and Economist at the World Bank; Andrey Lipin, Deputy Director of the Department for Macroeconomic Policy of the Eurasian Economic Commission; Natalia Volchkova, Professor at the New Economic School, Director for Applied Research at the Center for Economic and Financial Research and Development; Gulnara Khaidarshina, Head of the Department for Macro Research and Strategy at Gazprombank OJSC; Alexander Orlov, Topic Editor for Economy Block at

The discussion was moderated by Director of the Center for International Trade Studies of the RANEPA and Head of the International Trade Department of the Gaidar Institute Alexander Knobel, who also delivered his report titled 'Main Challenges of Russia's Foreign Trade Policy'.

The expert discussion Great Powers, Great Challenges: the Evolving World Order addressed the following issues: the ways to develop relations between major world powers (the People's Republic of China – the USA, the People's Republic of China – Russia, Russia – the USA); the opportunities for these states to act as leaders in settling the hottest global issues, such as climate change, terrorism, pandemic diseases, food and water security, world economy; whether the establishment of the New Development Bank by BRICS can be regarded as the birth of a new world financial order, which will be able to put to test the dominance of the models created by the World Bank and the IMF, and how this can be accomplished.

The roundtable discussion was moderated by Editor-in-chief of the Russia in Global Politics Magazine, Chairman of the Presidium of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy Fyodor Lukyanov. The discussion was participated by: Denis Shulakov, First Vice President of Gazprombank OJSC; Sun Zhe, Director of the Center for the US-China Relations at Tsinghua  University; Andrey Kortuniv, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC); Timothy Colton, Professor of the Department of Government at Harvard University; Cynthia Roberts, Professor at the City University of New York and Columbia University; Alexander Gabuev, Senior Associate and Chair of Russia in the Asia-Pacific Program of Carnegie Moscow Center.


The afternoon panel discussion, chaired by Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Sergey Naryshkin, addressed the theme The Role of Parliamentarism in the Economy. The discussion was participated by Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Organization of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Vladimir Pligin; Chairperson of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Tatiana Golikova; Chairman of the Committee on Budget and Taxes of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Andrey Makarov; Vice President and Managing Director of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) Alexander Varvarin; Deputy of the French National Assembly Herve Mariton; Chairman of the Regional Duma of Tomsk Oblast Oksana Kozlovskaya.

The discussion focused on the following issues: parliament and budget policy; parliament and monetary policy; legislation and business: civilized lobbying; the role of parliamentarism in setting socioeconomic goals; parliamentary control and the conditions for its efficient performance.


The agenda of this session also included the address delivered by President of the Greek Republic Prokopis Pavlopulos.

In view of the goals set in the framework of the National Technology Initiative (NTI), today we are faced with the necessity to create adequate conditions for the development of new hi-tech markets and the emergence in Russia of leader businesses capable of competing in the world arena. At present, there exists a gap between the available institutional environment and the needs of small and medium-sized hi-tech companies capable of becoming the drivers of the NTI. In this connection, the panel discussion Institutional Design of the Russian Economy: Transition fr om a Rent Model to a Technological Model was of vital importance. The panel discussion was chaired by Director General and Chairman of the Board of OJSC RVC (Russian Venture Company) Igor Agamirzyan.

The participants were asked to share their opinions on the following issues: the possibilities for building an efficient system for NTI implementation under the existing conditions; the ways for adjusting the existing institutions to the task of supporting technological companies; who must become the initiator of the changes; what steps will have to be taken in order to achieve the desired goals, and at what cost; and is it worthwhile to sacrifice the sustainability of the existing system for the sake of progress.


Among the participants in this discussion were: Oleg Fomichev, State Secretary and RF Deputy Minister of Economic Development; Alexander Povalko, RF Deputy Minister of Education and Science; Alexander Auzan, Dean of the Faculty of Economics at M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University; Victor Vakhstayn, Dean at Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences; Ekaterina Shapochka, Executive Director of the Analytical Center Forum, member of the Russian Government Expert Council; Sergey Generalov, Head of MariNet Working Group, President and Founder of Industrial Investors; Sergey Nedoroslev, Cо-Chair and Member Coordination and General Councils of the All-Russian Public Organization  Business Russia; Vadim Makhov, First Vice President of Gazprombank OJSC; Yevgeny Kuznetsov, Deputy General Director of OJSC RVC (Russian Venture Company); David Sneddon, Exports Director of Google and Director General of Google Sweden.

The afternoon panel discussion titled Publicly-owned Companies – Economic Powerhouse or Deterrent? was moderated by Chairman of the Board of Director of JSC Aeroflot Kirill Androsov.

The participants were offered the following issues for discussion: is there a lim it to the growing share of the State in the economy; can the State be an efficient owner, and what measurements can be applied in the estimation of ownership efficiency; how private companies can compete with publicly-owned ones, and the competitive advantages of state corporations; how the CEOs of publicly-owned companies with state stakes can be motivated to perform efficiently.
The following participants shared their opinions on the issues under discussion: Denis Manturov, RF Minister of Industry and Trade; Oleg Belozerov, President of OJSC Russian Railways; Vladimir Lisin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK); Kirill Dmitriev, Director General of the Russian Direct Investment Fund; Anatoly Golomolzin, Deputy Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS).


The evening panel discussion titled A Strategy for the Creation of INNOKAM: A Stand-alone Innovative Production Center was moderated by Rector of the RANEPA Vladimir Mau. Among the participants were President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov; RF Minister of Transport Maxim Sokolov; RF Minister of Energy Alexander Novak; RF Deputy Minister of Economic Development Andrey Ivanov; 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 Alexey Kudrin; State Secretary and RF Deputy Minister of Economic Development Oleg Fomichev; Vice Rector of the Russian Foreign Trade Academy (RFTA) Pavel Kadochnikov; Deputy Chairman of State Corporation 'Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs' (Vneshekonombank) Andrey Klepach; Rector of Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO Andrey Sharonov; General Director of the SME Corporation Alexander Braverman; General Director of PJSC Nizhnekamskneftekhim Azat Bikmurzin; General Director of JSC SEZ Alabuga Timur Shagivaleev; Deputy Head of the Secretariat of Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Oleg Khorokhordin.

The discussion addressed the following issues: the prospects for implementing the socioeconomic policy of the Republic of Tatarstan in terms of Strategy-2030: the development of the Kama agglomeration as a growth point in the domestic economy; the Strategy for the development of transport infrastructure, as exemplified by the development of the Kama agglomeration in the Republic of Tatarstan: goals and priorities; access to raw materials and support of the competitive potential of the oil, gas and chemical complex in the Middle Volga Region and Western Siberia: the development prospects for the investment project for transportation of natural gas liquids (NGL) Yamal – Volga; the development of network interaction at different levels of the education system: the prospects for the creation of network universities; the forms and directions of state support for innovation in domestic industry.

The expert roundtable discussion titled Costs and Benefits of Low-carbon Development, Modeling of Energy and Environment was moderated by Head of the Department of Economic Growth Studies of the RANEPA and Deputy Head of the International Fiscal Sustainability Department of the Gaidar Institute Maria Kazakova and Director of the Climate and Energy Program of the World Wildlife Fund Alexey Kokorin.  

The following issues were addressed in the course of the discussion: the deep decarbonization pathways project (DDPP); international cooperation on issues relating to countering preventing climate change; global energy transition, the role of innovations and costs in shaping the future energy markets; sustainable development and long-run economic growth; the role of energy-saving buildings and transport technologies in low-carbon development; modeling climate change in a life cycle; environmental effects of trade liberalization on Russia's accession to the WTO.

Among the participants in this discussion were: Igor Bashmakov, General Director of the Center for Effective Energy Use XXI (CENEF-XXI); Vladimir Berdin, Deputy Executive Director of the International Sustainable Development Energy Center under the auspices of UNESCO; Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Head of the International Fiscal Sustainability Department of the Gaidar Institute and the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Professor of Economics at Boston University; John  Lightner, Senior Research Fellow of the Center for Economic Modeling of Energy and Environment of the RANEPA; Oleg Lugovoy, Research  Adviser of the Center for Economic Modeling of Energy and Environment of the RANEPA; Georgiy Safonov, Director of the Center for Environmental and Natural Resource Economics at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE); David Tarr, Consultant  and Economist at the World Bank.

In the framework of the Gaidar Forum, the expert discussion titled Islamic Finance: Problems in the Formation of the Industry was held (moderated by Bekhan Chokaev, Deputy Head of the Empirical Financial Market Studies Department of the IEP; Magomet Yandiev, Leading Research Fellow at the RANEPA, Docent at M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University). The importance of this issue is emphasized by the fact that it is being discussed at the Gaidar Forum for a second year in a row. This year, the set of participants in the discussion was even more impressive than a year ago. The core question, always implied in any discussion on the theme of Islamic finance, is as follows: how this new type of financial relations can benefit the Russian economy? The answer is simple - the development of Islamic finance will make it possible to attract to the economy, firstly, the savings of that population group in this country who previously had no opportunities for saving, and secondly, foreign investment through the issuance, by Russian companies, of Islamic securities. However, the implementation of both these mechanisms, strictly speaking, will necessitate some alterations to existing legislation.

Among the participants in this discussion were: Vice Chairman of the Committee for Financial Market of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Dmitry Savelyev; Deputy Director of the Department of Financial Policy of the RF Ministry of Finance Sergey Platonov; President of the Islamic Business & Finance Development Fund Linar Yakupov; Deputy Chairman of the RF Central Bank Alexander Torshin; Khamzat Asabaev, lawyer, Linklaters.  

By way of summing up the presentations delivered by the participants in this expert discussion, we may say as follows: of the two mechanisms capable of deriving gains for the Russian economy through developing Islamic finance – the promotion of domestic saving and the attraction of external investment – only the latter may offer some real potential so far.