Summarizing 2018 Gaidar Forum, day one

The results of the first day of the Ninth Gaidar Forum’s work have been summed up. Its key event, the plenary discussion, Values and Virtues, was attended by the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev.

The speakers discussed the risks for the global economy in the coming years. Dmitry Medvedev cited the current increasing inequality – uneven incomes, uneven territorial development; the risk of an artificial technological gap growing between the world’s regions; and ensuring security in the digital space, as the top challenges of our time.

In his speech, the Prime Minister noted that the matters arising due to those explosive technological changes that are increasingly expanding beyond the scope of the economy and creating pressing and often quite unexpected ethical issues. “The question is: Are we prepared for such dynamic and drastic changes? It appears to me, not quite,” he said.

Dmitry Medvedev emphasized the importance of developing modern innovative education: “As soon as today, we must set a goal to change public attitudes to healthcare and education, with a view to improve professionalism and increasing the income of professionals working in these sectors.”

The plenary session participants included Chairman of JP Morgan Chase International, former Chairman of the Bank of Israel (1991-2000), and member of RANEPA International Advisory Board Jacob Frenkel; Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank Kristalina Georgieva; President of the European Policy Center, President Emeritus of the European Council (2009-2014), former Prime Minister of Belgium (2008-2009) Herman Van Rompuy; political analyst, Chairman of the Center for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Permanent Fellow with the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna Ivan Krastev; and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of Finland Kai Mykkanen. Experts pointed out the urgency of the threat of the growing popularity of populist political trends for international integration processes. RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau moderated the discussion.

The forum devoted two sessions to public healthcare issues on the first day of work: the business breakfast, Investment in public health, and the expert discussion, Global Healthcare Trends.

At the business breakfast, the speakers reviewed the rules for developing a healthy lifestyle, economic growth and welfare, the effectiveness of companies' investments in new projects, healthcare and healthcare infrastructure in Russia, and technological changes. The moderator was Alexander Ivlev, EY Managing Partner for Russia.

RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau spoke about practical measures to improve the quality of human capital as a priority of the country's development. Healthcare Minister Veronika Skvortsova said cancer programs will be among the ministry’s priorities in 2018. She also cited several positive trends: over the past five years, alcohol consumption decreased by 80%, the number of adult smokers, by an average of 22% and teenagers, by 66%.

Heads of federal ministries and departments, regional executive bodies, representatives of the pharmaceutical industry and industry experts attended the business breakfast.

The Global Healthcare Trends session provided another platform for discussing healthcare development. The moderator, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy Igor Kagramanyan, said: “The vector of development of Russian healthcare observed in recent years, with an emphasis on innovative development, on a patient-oriented, value-oriented model, meets the best international standards.” The speakers analyzed the possible formats of interaction between the state and business for implementing best practices and balancing the budget.

During the panel discussion, Will the Social Policy Remain a National Priority, the experts determined the development vector for the social policy. The speakers noted the importance of moving from poverty reduction to expanding the middle class and the need to choose a model for social development in the regions; they also analyzed Russia’s experience and priorities for the social sector. Director of RANEPA Institute of Social Analysis and Forecast Tatyana Maleva cited the past year’s positive trends, including a record low inflation, a revival of the consumer market, and the recovering growth of wages (4-5%). However, the total incomes of the population continued to decline. “Over the past year, the reduction of real incomes of the population was observed in three quarters of Russia’s regions,” she said. According to the expert, if revenues grew, trade would be growing, and people would not be taking loans. An expanding middle class could resolve the problem of falling incomes, she suggested. Lilia Ovcharova, Head of Human Capital at the Center for Strategic Research, outlined two major trends in the social policy – education and healthcare. “We need the kind of social policy that would promote inclusive and smart growth,” she said.

One of the key topics at the Ninth Gaidar Forum was the efficiency of public administration and government spending. At the discussion platform, Efficient Budget Expenditure as a Mirror of Efficient Public Administration, the participants proposed options for reducing budget spending and made recommendations for improving the public administration system. The speakers were unanimous that it is necessary to tighten control over the use of budget funds. The moderator was Chairman of the State Duma Budget and Tax Committee Andrei Makarov; the keynote reports were delivered by Head of the Accounts Chamber Tatyana Golikova and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. Ms. Golikova proposed a merger of the three non-state funds – the Social Insurance Fund, the Federal Mandatory Medical Insurance Fund, and the Pension Fund of Russia – into a single state-run extrabudgetary fund. At the moment, 143.8 billion rubles of the government payroll goes to pay more than 160,000 staff serving at the three funds. Building a single information system would reduce costs. Mr. Siluanov noted it is important to build a management system that would consume fewer resources. One of the important tasks he mentioned is to create a clear mechanism for making managerial decisions and carrying them through.” The experts included Rector of the Higher School of Economics (HSE) Yaroslav Kuzminov and leaders of Russian regions.

The first presentation of the National Report on the Development of High-Tech Business in Russian Regions took place at the 2018 Gaidar Forum. It was developed by the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) and the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR) in cooperation with Interfax Group. State Secretary – Deputy Minister of Economic Development Oleg Fomichev moderated the session. The first day program also included a session devoted to the rating of innovative regions of Russia.

Russian and international experts analyzed the world economic growth rates, the distribution of the benefits of globalization, and the role of human capital in the economy of the future during the discussion Borderlines in the World Economy. The issues for discussion included the world trade growth after the crisis, integration agreements, and Russia’s integration agenda. Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov noted that the import substitution program has been successfully implemented for the past three years; new types of industrial products began to emerge. Last year, manufacturing product exports growth reached 19% for the first time in a decade.

Russian-Spanish and Russian-French relations were discussed at respective sessions of the Gaidar Forum. The interaction between Russia and France through civil societies was one of the subjects of reports during the Trianon Dialogue: City of the Future discussion. The speakers of the Russia-Spain: New Opportunities session underscored the desire to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and Spain for European and international stability. 

Several sessions were devoted to the challenges to public administration and issues of the introduction of project management in government bodies.

Russian universities’ involvement in innovation activity was discussed at the Leading Companies and Universities: Goals and Technological Breakthrough Formulas session. The main trends of business education in the future were covered during the open dialogue, Business School Model for the 21st Century Leaders.

The speakers at the session, The October Revolution of 1917: 100 Years Later, considered the lessons of history; Russian and foreign historians discussed modern approaches to assessing the outcome of the October Revolution.

The Gaidar Forum speakers included leaders of Russian regions, ministries and departments, representatives of educational institutions and business entities: Chairman of Rusnano Management Company Anatoly Chubais; President of the Business Russia Public Organization, Chairman of the Board of Directors of R-Farm Group Alexey Repik; President of Novartis Group Vadim Vlasov; head of Mastercard Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia Alexei Malinovsky; COO of Microsoft Russia Tomasz Bochenek; Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov; Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Abyzov; General Director of Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev; General Director and Chairman of the Board of RVC Alexander Povalko; Executive Chairman of the Board of East Office of Finnish Industries Esko Aho; President of the EFE Agency Jose Antonio Vera; Head of Corporate Affairs at Novartis Philippe Barrois; President of AACSB International Tom Robinson; and CEO of Cotton Way Alexander Utkin.

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.

Media accreditation

2018 Gaidar Forum on Telegram

The program of Gaidar Forum

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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.

The general information partners include the Rossiya 24 TV channel, RBC and TASS news agencies. The official information agency is Rossiya Segodnya. The general online media partner is Gazeta.RU. The general radio partner is Business FM. The strategic information partners are Kommersant Publishers, the RT TV channel and Interfax. The main information partners are Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Federalpress news agency. Other media partners include, PRIME news agency, EFE,, Expert RA, Radio Ekho Moskvy, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, BRICS, National Banking Journal, Banking Review, Financial One, Standards and Quality news agency, AK&M, Ekonomika i Zhizn weekly, Invest Foresight online magazine, Strategia magazine, Naans Media, the Public Administration scientific political journal, the PRO BUSINESS TV channel, the Indicator online science journal, the Bankovskoye Delo (Banking Business) magazine, RNS news agency, Business Excellence magazine, Cision, the Budget magazine, Information platform “Russian planet – Smart Russia”.