2020 Gaidar Forum, day two: Highlights

On the second day, the 11th Gaidar Forum was attended by Acting First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, former President of France (2007-2012) Nicolas Sarkozy, Chairman of the Accounts Chamber Alexei Kudrin, Chairman of Sberbank Herman Gref, Acting Minister of Science and Higher Education Mikhail Kotyukov and other prominent speakers. As many as 34 expert sessions were held, devoted to the challenges of the new decade in the areas of finance, the tax system, education and climate.

One of the highlights of the day was Anton Siluanov’s meeting with international experts of the forum. “We have discussed trends in the global economy, factors hindering its development and how the economies in developed and emerging countries compare,” Siluanov said. The participants also discussed other global challenges, such as climate change and demographic issues.

RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy discussed the key topics on the current geopolitical agenda in an open dialogue format. Speaking about the future of Europe, the French politician said he felt “deeply confident” about the social, economic and political future of the continent, but believes that “there will be several Europes”: “There will be a Europe of Europes, if I may say so. There will be an EU Europe, a Schengen Europe that will have to deal with the migration problem, and there will be European cooperation that will deal with the defense problem.” He also said he believes our country’s achievements are due to its openness to new technologies. “Russia has again become a superpower, and this is the merit of President Vladimir Putin,” Sarkozy emphasized.

Vladimir Mau noted that Russia and France have always been linked by mutual positive emotions, something more important than diplomatic relations: “During global geopolitical crises, our bilateral relations have always been a factor that hindered the negative processes. That was the case in 2008, when France was led by Nicolas Sarkozy, and later, too.”

Acting Minister of Science and Higher Education Mikhail Kotyukov spoke at the session on Digital Revolution in Education and New Training Technologies. He highlighted a proposal from the Presidential Address to parliament about offering third-year students an opportunity to choose a new path or curriculum at that point. He also noted that Russian education has confirmed its competitiveness in the international arena: “Fifty Russian universities are among the world’s top universities today. And what’s important, half of them are not in Moscow.”

The head of Sberbank, Herman Gref, said at the session on Trust as a Factor and Tool in Economic Development that the Minister of Education should play a key role in any government: “Not the Minister of Finance, not the Minister of Economics, but the Minister of Education. Not of higher education, but of secondary education, something that lays the foundation for the cultural code.”

Stephen Roach, Senior Research Fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and School of Management, Yale University, presented his book, Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China. Head of the Federal Treasury Roman Artyukhin spoke about the new books in the Russian Ministers of Finance series released by Delo Publishing House of the Presidential Academy.

At the end of the day, Alexei Kudrin, a member of the Gaidar Forum organizing committee, spoke with reporters. “Every year we plan a lot of discussions on the most relevant issues. I consider it a good sign that so many foreign participants have joined us this time – ministers, former prime ministers, leading academics, former members of the World Bank and IMF, who are now renowned experts in their field. This is a very serious forum,” the chairman of the Accounts Chamber said.


The 11th Gaidar Forum, Russia and the World: Challenges of the New Decade, held at the Presidential Academy on January 15 and 16, 2020, focuses on discussing national and global development goals and finding practical answers to the most pressing challenges of our time. The forum is attended by Cabinet ministers of the Russian Federation, members of the Federal Assembly, governors of Russian regions, major international experts, and representatives of foreign states.

11th Gaidar Forum Organizers:

The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA);
The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute);
The Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

Forum partners:

General partners: Gazprom, Gazprombank. Strategic partners: Coca-Cola, Mastercard, Russian Railways, Pharmstandard group, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Novartis Group, MSD, ACIG Group, EF Education First. Partners: Prosveshcheniye Group, EY, Huawei, RVC, Russian Agricultural Bank.

General information partners: Rossiya 24 TV Chanel, TASS, RBC, Business FM; strategic information partners: Kommersant Publishing House, Interfax, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Invest Foresight online business magazine, RIA FederalPress; main information partners: Anews.com, Gazeta.ru, Lenta.ru, News.ru, Profile; international partners: RT, Thomson Reuters, Sputnik, EFE, Cision, Pan Pacific Agency; information partners: Snob media project, PRIME economic news agency, RNS, Expert magazine, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, Polit.ru, Radio Ekho Moskvy, PRO Business TV channel, FINAM.RU agency, Davydov.Index, Strategia magazine, Ekonomika i Zhizn newspaper, ECONS.ONLINE website, Gosudarstvennaya Sluzhba magazine, TV BRICS.