A discussion on cooperation of state and business in digital environment was held on the Gaidar Forum

The second day program was opened be panel discussion “Business and state: models of partnership in a digital age’’. The moderator - Maxim Akimov, First Deputy Chief, Government Staff of the Russian Federation, - offered experts to speak of digital changes, which appear all over the world, transforming business models and its connections with state. They transform even ordinary life and communication between people. Issues for discussion: what will be the technological trends of the following 2-3 years, how they will change state agenda concerning business relations, how to determine behavioral patterns and perspectives of Russian companies on global technological market.

Answering the first question, Guy Dietrich, Vice-President, Global Innovations, Cisco, said that in modern world digital tools connected 70 mlrd people and subjects. By the end of the digital era (2020-2030 years) this system would connect 500 mlrd subjects. “From this point of view the problem of cybersecurity will be a trend and a challenge being a part of technological progress”, -Guy Dietrich declared.

Herman Gref, CEO, Chairman, Executive Board, Sberbank, marked that growing access to artificial intelligence was a trend not only for huge corporations but also for small and medium ones. Among important business goals he mentioned the necessity to develop correct priorities and focus efforts properly. The chairman illustrated his words by a quote of General Electric’s creator Lack Welch that “it makes no sense to follow all the changes because we cannot follow them fast enough”.

Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation believes that in a year or two remote identification, lessening of stages in complicated processes with the help of automation and AI, and introduction of fundamental decisions, shortening the distance between a manufacturer and a consumer will become trends of Russian economy”.

In the opinion of Olga Skorobogatova, Deputy Chairperson, Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the development of remote access of consumers to bank services tools remains to be the key trend in financial trend. She sees the role of a monitor and a state in supporting banks in security of operations and protecting of clients’ rights, independently of their location. Competitiveness must, of course, be preserved in a level of service.

Oleg Belozerov, General Director – Chairman, Board, Russian Railways OJSC, attracted attention to the fact that modern technological decisions determine directions of business development in companies operation. In connection with it Oleg Belozerov, among other services, mentioned introduction and improvement of digital services operation to organize passenger and freight traffic. According to the chairman, in four years practically whole railway system will be “digitized”. It is stipulated by a certain program. He also called speeding up of technological decisions introduction not less important element of development.

Sergey Gorkov, Chairman, Management Board, Vnesheconombank, supported Herman Gref’s thought on primary meaning of trend priorities setting. He called the development of blockchain and AI to be the most important processes.

Answering the moderator’s question on a role of state in te process of digital transformation, participants of the discussion marked the importance of creation of a flexible regulatory model and a system of “state-business” cooperation. As Maxim Oreshkin declared, a state must not remain in the past. Sergey Solonin, General Director, Fintech Association, expressed concern that the system of control cannot follow changes fast enough, so a state does not value AI priority properly. Guy Dietrich claimed that state must bear responsibility to create “understanding if digital agenda” and observe it strategically, creating educational and working atmosphere for future specialists’ achievements. He marked certain achievements of Russia in this sphere.

Concluding the discussion Maxim Akimov raised an issue: do Russian IT-companies have a chance to become global and what is needed for that. Opinions on chances were different, but all the experts agreed that it was necessary to create conditions for personnel training in this sphere. Herman Gref connected week perspectives with a necessity to improve geopolitical situation and get rid of all the obstacles between Russia and global world.

Sergey Gorkov, Chairman, Management Board, Vnesheconombank, mentioned lack of potential, small market, low demand for innovations and too small a number of special venture funds as hindering factors.


The organizers include the Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute) and the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

The program outline is available at the forum website.

Participation is free; preliminary registration is required.

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The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom and Gazprombank; strategic partners include Novartis, Johnson&Johnson, RZD, MSD, AstraZeneca, the ACIG Group of Companies, Mastercard, Coca-Cola, Russian Agricultural Bank, Pharmstandard JSC, Microsoft; O1 Group, Unilever, EY, Russian Brewers’ Union, Russian Direct Investment Fund are partners and RVC.

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