On 3 March, 2017 the Finam news agency held online conference dedicated to the development prospects of the Russian economy in 2017. The conference was attended by representatives of the academic community, representatives of banking institutions and think tanks, as well as by the EDSG experts.
During the discussion, a question was raised about the impact of Western sanctions on the Russian economy. According to experts, the effect depends to a high degree on the sector. In terms of investments the sanctions adversely effect primarily on the sector of mining. Western companies engaged in projects in the field of unconventional oil withdrew from Russia, as far as their supply of equipment for the development of projects was banned.
In the industries, generating a high added value, which are dependent on imports of high technologies, the number of investment projects has also decreased. First of all, the reduction was due to a weak ruble. Experts believe that the lifting of sanctions will help such enterprises not only in terms of improving the number of external factors, but also in terms of increased competition, which can stimulate the improvement of the quality of products and services.
Experts also discussed the decision of the Ministry of finance regarding the Federal loan bond (FLB). Experts suggets that this is not accidental. On the one hand, rates on deposits in commercial banks is lower than FLB rates. On the other hand, the dollar and the euro fall, making the ruble attractive. However, the prevailing situation is unlikely to substantially meet the expectations of the Ministry of Finance. The memories of the crisis are still fresh.
In conclusion, the experts discussed the Ruble dynamics in 2017. If the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil will be in the range of 54 rubles. In this case the dollar price should not exceed 63 Rubles per unit of US currency. The Russian currency should not fall substantially because of high real interest rates.
On 22 February 2017 the EDSG experts commented to news agency Finam statistics published by Rosstat (Russian Statistics Agency) for January, 2017. In particular, the attention was drawn to a marked increase in real disposable income (8.1% YoY) for the first time after three years of decline. The decline in retail trade turnover is still down (by 2.3% YoY), but the decline slowed down compared to last year. Industrial production in January 2017 increased by 2.3% YoY.
The main factor in the growth of real disposable income of Russians in January 2017, according EDSG experts, is a one-time payment of pensions. Nevertheless, one can not deny the contribution of the resulting index and other fundamental factors related to the economic recovery fixed in the second half of 2016.
On the growth of economic activity points to industry insights and general index of the PMI, which at the end of 2016 caught up with the value of 2008. In the beginning of the year, growth was recorded in the services sector. Thus, the rail and sea transportation services, as well as the consumption of electricity has been incressed. Growth in both the industrial sector and the service sector contributed to the increasing demand, which in turn, stimulated the growth of employment and real disposable income.
Despite the growth in real income was identified, Russian population changed its consumption basket, and became increasingly inclined to save the money because of the economic crisis started in 2014.
A monthly meeting of Gender Evaluation Group took place on 14 February 2017. During the meeting the participants discussed the challenges associated with SDGs achievement in developed and developing countries. Two cases of Japan and Tunisia were presented.
Gender and Evaluation Community was created on 16th Feb 2013 as an initiative of the Institute of Social Studies Trust under ‘Engendering Policy through Evaluation’ project which was funded by IDRC & Ford Foundation. The Community is also the knowledge sharing hub for EvalGender+ a global partnership led by EvalPartners.
On January 12, 2017 on the sidelines of the Gaidar Economic Forum “Russia and the World: the choice of priorities” the World Bank report “Russian Federation – a comprehensive diagnostic study of the economy: towards inclusive economic growth” was presented. The report was prepared by experts of the World Bank Group in close consultation with numerous partners, including representatives of the federal and regional authorities, academia and think tanks, business community, non-governmental organizations.
The relevance of the report is associated with the current efforts of Russian Government to formulate a new approach to economic growth for the country and make it sustainable and inclusive character in the long term. The report analyzes the key factors affecting the growth of productivity, such as the continuing shortcomings of the investment climate, insufficient degree of competition, the tangible and intangible obstacles to infrastructural connectivity, the relatively low innovation potential of enterprises and the gap between available skills and the demand at the labor market.
It also covers the possibilities for further strengthening the human capital in Russia by improving health of the population, as well as the quality and relevance of education. Finally, the report identifies three necessary conditions to achieve higher rates of economic growth: improving governance, budget reform and more efficient use of the rich natural resources of the country. The report is focused on the diagnosis, but it also presents some recommendations to assist in the removal of the limiting factors mentioned above.
EGSG experts participated in the discussions of research results.
Link to Forum materials
On 26 December, 2016 Finam Information Agency arranged online conference dedicated to the main economic results of 2016 “Economic and political results of 2016: without reform, with a new parliament“. The conference was attended by representatives of the academic, business and expert community. The discussions covered such topics as the budget deficit, the oil prices, the socio-economic scenario of the authorities, the willingness to implement structural reforms in the economy. A separate category includes issues related to foreign economic and political developments. The experts discussed the prospects of Russia’s relations with the EU and the US in the context of changing administrations in these countries.
The conference was also attended by EDSG experts, who have identified the prospects of the Russian economy for the year 2017.
The link to conference outcomes
A round table devoted to «Corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a tool of “soft power” of business in international economic relations» was held by the MGIMO University in partnership with EDSG as a part of the X Convention of the Russian international studies Association (RISA) on 9 December, 2016. The EDSG experts participated as co-organizers and moderators of the event. The head of the Department of economic policy and public-private partnership of MGIMO, Elena Zavyalova, and the EDSG CEO opened the Round Table and announced outcomes at the end of the event.
The Round Table brought together academics and practitioners-representatives of the business community, concerned with issues of social responsibility of business. The event was held in the format of the sessions.
The first session was devoted to possibilities of using CSR to boost investment activity and integration into new markets. In the second session the participants discussed the role of programs and projects in the field of CSR in sustainable development. In particular, they discussed the attitude of the private sector on this issue. The focus of the third session was to evaluate the impact of CSR in Russian companies.
During the Round Table both theoretical and practical aspects of the question of corporate social responsibility as one of the mechanisms of interaction of business and government were covered. The number of questions and discussions that arose during the Round Table underlined the urgency and relevance of this subject.
The results and outcomes of the round table will be published in a form of X RISA Convention presentations and theses collection.
On November 17, 2016 EDSG held a seminar “Coordination of the parties in the strategic planning process, organization of the monitoring and control as part of the program “Territorial planning. Strategic planning” at MGIMO University. The program aims to improve theoretical knowledge and practical skills in accordance with the current trends in this area.
This seminar sets the goal to boost strategic planning, monitoring and control processes in governmental institutions, as well as commercial organizations. Among other issues the participants actively discussed modern information technologies and big data for the purposes of strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation.
On November 11, 2016 the National Training Foundation (NTF) organized the training seminar “Science. Society. Communication. Bridging the gap” at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS).
The seminar was focused on theoretical and practical aspects of scientific communication.
The seminar included several sessions and workshops. Speakers from leading Russian universities and representatives of the business community took part in the seminar. Leading EDSG expert presented the theme: “Scientific research in the digital age: consequences for scientific communication.”
During the practical part of the event leading Russian experts delivered several master classes which demonstrated how to improve communication efficiency.
In the end of the event, participants made estimations of the current supply and demand for scientific communication for broad academic community, business and society.
On 26 October, 2016, an international conference on “The modern system of international humanitarian assistance: Best Practices and Challenges” took place at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Russian Federation with the participation of the Russian representation of the international charity Oxfam. The conference was devoted to current issues related to the provision of humanitarian aid in the world, and its purpose was the generalization of knowledge and conditions for expert discussion of humanitarian issues. The conference was an attempt to gather foreign and Russian specialists.
The conference was attended by the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters of the Russian Federation, representatives of non-profit Colombian organizations, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Serbia, Yemen, Lebanon, representatives of international organizations such as the International Federation of the Red Societies Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the United nations High Commissioner for refugees in the Russian Federation, as well as representatives of the research institutes (overseas development Institute (UK)). EDSG expert made a presentation on the theme “Participation of business in the provision of humanitarian assistance”at the section devoted to the legal and organizational aspects of the provision of humanitarian assistance and humanitarian law.
Among other issues raised during the conference were the problem of refugees, gender-sensitive humanitarian assistance, the role of local communities in the provision of humanitarian assistance, contemporary issues of humanitarian law.
Link to conference materials
On 20 October, 2016 the analytical agency “Finam” arranged the online conference on the current economic situation in Russia and expectations until the end of 2016. The relevance of the conference was attributed to the contradiction between the macroeconomic stabilization, which was announced by the authorities last week, and statistical indicators pointing to the reduction of the population welfare, the decline in industrial production and an increase in the budget deficit.
The conference discussed issues related to the prospects of improving the investment climate in Russia, carrying out structural reforms, fight against corruption, the impact of the global cyclical crises on the Russian economy, the Russian currency value, the possible introduction of new sanctions on Russia.
According to experts, the fundamental reasons for the weakening of the Russian currency at the present time are not observed. The appreciation of the Russian Rouble is resulted by the growing oil prices, recovery of economic growth expected in the long term. The traditional increase in the volume of ruble liquidity at the end of the year may affect on the weakening of the ruble exchange rate. This will put a pressure on the ruble, and the value of the currency would not reach the highest possible values.
Experts of the Expert Development Strategy Group became the participants of the conference.
Link to the conference