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Listening to the remarks
of Ambassador Doku Zavgaev
Alexander I.Ageev, Director General, Association of Orthodox Business Leaders, Russia
‘Banking is developing into a Russian success story’
Garegin Tosunyan, President, Association of Russian Banks, Russia

A major theme discussed at the meeting was the need to embrace socially responsible and environmentally friendly globalization strategies.

Marc-Emmanuel Vives,
First Deputy Chairman, Rosbank, Russia - ‘What should domestic and foreign firms do to thrive in this strategic
Philippov Yuri,Deputy Director General, Snegiri, Russia

Pavel Shashkin, Director External Relations, Russia Orthodox Church, Russia argued that ‘the economic crisis might be a good opportunity for soul-searching and spiritual reflection.’

He voiced his wish that the global recession would help business leaders to develop the right attitude to work and compensation, make them pull themselves together and value their contributions to society.

Along the same lines, Scott E. Rickert, Chief Executive Officer, Nanofilm, USA, urged participants to remember that money imposes a huge responsibility upon its owner.

Artak Tovmasyan, Chairman, Sozvezdie, Ukraine envisioned that the economic crisis would finally pick the thin artificial coating called ‘virtual economy’ - speculation and short-term profit taking.‘The Russian society might emerge from the crisis strong rather than weakened,’ concluded Leonid Koshelev, Chairman, Jet 2000, Russia.

What is Russias impact on global growth?

The co-chairs made the following proposals at the closing of the meeting - a package of measures they called the Ljubljana declaration:

First, keeping the carrying out of anti-crisis measures for at least another six months, while connecting them more closely to structurally reforming the Russian economy. The economic crisis has magnified the importance of public private partnerships - partnerships between the private and public sectors shall be promoted to translate fiscal stimulus into real economic growth.

Second, diversifying the economy, by implementing a concerted strategy to invest in sectors other than oil and gas. In addition, small- and medium-sized businesses should be shored up in the face of the crisis.

The modernization of the Russian economy would reduce the country’s dependence on natural resource exports and lead to the emergence of knowledge-based industry clusters, as well as massive technological innovation in industry and infrastructure.

And third, encouraging more and more sustainable Foreign Direct Investment as well as trade. Foreign Direct Investment will increase management skills and intellectual property - in addition to the mere provision of money.

Murad Sofizade, Chief Executive Officer, IPnet, Russia, one of the meeting co-chairs
Rok Vodnik, Member of the Management Board, Petrol, Slovenia
David Arkless, President, Global Corporate & Government Affairs,
Manpower, USA, moderating the session on human resources

Russia and the world would benefit if Russia joined the WTO.The benefits will be even greater when coordinated with coherent employment and social policies.

During the Closing Dinner, Patrick Vlaˇciˇc, Minister of Transport, Republic of Slovenia; Alexander I. Ageev, Director General, Association of Orthodox Business Leaders, Russia; and Ivan Tselichtchev, Professor, Niigata University of Management, Japan, spoke of their views on Russia’s past, present and future.

These deliberations were closely linked to discussions on a green and sustainable Russia. Going sustainable, which is not only an environmental and social imperative but a significant opportunity for new economic growth. Promoting sustainable economic growth and reducing poverty are the challenges Russia shares with the other BRIC-economies.

The meeting ended with some cautious optimism: Russian exports have grown steadily, rising oil prices are supporting the balance of payments, and industrial production is recovering. Still, domestic consumption remains relatively weak.

‘We might see a strong rebound by the third quarter if everything goes right,’ as Murad Sofizade, Chief Executive Officer, IPnet, Russia, put it - fuelling hopes that the end of the crisis in Russia and around the globe is in sight.

‘Optimism should not obscure the challenges that lie ahead, nor should it be interpreted to mean it is time to withdraw the special responses put into effect to moderate the impact of the crisis’
Sergey Vasilyev,Vice Chairman,VEB Bank, Russia

In the same vein, Wolfgang Lehmacher, Chief Executive Officer, GeoPost Intercontinental, France underlined that ‘despite the flow of global trade and technological advances location and distance are still key considerations for political and economic activity.

In this context, we as business leaders have a special role to play. A drive to innovate and a permanent search for new opportunities and markets makes the private sector a positive agent of social change and economic growth.’ And, as Alexey K. Pushkov, Director, Institute of Contemporary International Problems, Russia, pinpointed: ‘It is time to move Russia to the centre of the global economy.’

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