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Sun Feb 26, 2017, 11:07 PM

Parallels between 45 & recent Russian Economic Forum

By looking at a few of the topics discussed at the 2016 St.Petersburg International Economic Forum, one can begin to better understand Putin's vision, how Trump can help him, and the motivation behind some of Trump's rhetoric which is likely a desire to implement concepts, from Putin's vision, here in the USA.

The following overviews are taken directly from a forum agenda

The Economic Impact of Migrant Crises :

• The massive influx of refugees from the Middle East and Central Asia has become a major international challenge, threatening the political fortunes of a number of individual EU heads of government and straining the Union’s core foundations.
* But Europe is not alone in confronting a backlash to immigration;
* in the US the influx of the Latino population has increased xenophobia and reshaped the body politic,
* while regional economies such as Turkey and Jordan must manage the flood of huge minority populations.
* What policies must be implemented to create a sensible and sustainable immigration policy for each of these economies, turning what is presently viewed as a crisis into a potential economic growth opportunity?
* What is at stake for the rest of the world if these crises continue unabated? 

The Big Challenges in Promoting Scientific Development :
* Science and technology play a predominant role in providing solutions to modern humanity’s critical challenges.
* Science itself is evolving as it confronts new challenges, but to what extent are these changes the result of external factors?
* What is currently driving scientific development internationally and in Russia: responding to external demands or the sequential logic of R&D activities?
* What are the key foundations of modern-day scientific and technical development and how might this change?
* What are some of the potential social, economic, and political impacts that can be derived from effective approaches to scientific development?

Clean Energy-- Building Momentum in a Renaissance in Nuclear Power :
* Recent innovations in financing models, mobility for power stations, generation and water desalination applications, as well as technologies to recycle spent rods, are all driving a renewed interest in nuclear as a growing part of the energy mix.
* What are the next big opportunities for the USD 55 billion industry and
* what challenges must be overcome for the sector to reach its full potential? 

Energy Company Summit 
World Oil Market at Crossroads: Uncertainty Investments or Risk Management?
* The most critical phase of the global oil market crisis is over.
* However, oil prices are still low, investments in oil production and exploration are being cut for the second consecutive year, and a high degree of uncertainty remains in the market.
* What are the short-term and long-term effects of underinvestment in the oil industry?
* How will it influence the resource-to-production ratio?
* Is the price increase seen in the recent weeks a long-term trend?
* Is this level of prices sufficient to recover investments?
* What is the role of shale oil production in the demand and supply balance and pricing in the mid-term?
* Is it possible to speak about the start of a new era in the development and regulation of the global oil market? 

SPIEF 2016 Energy Conference participants from USA:
Gustavo Sapoznik, CEO, ASAPP (USA);
Dirk Ahlborn, CEO, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (USA);
Jim Rogers, Chairman, Beeland Interests (USA);
Donald James Umpleby III, Group President for Energy & Power Systems, Caterpillar (USA);
Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman, IHS (USA);
Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company (USA);
Johan Aurik, Managing Partner and Chairman of the Board, A.T. Kearney (USA);
Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO, ExxonMobil Corporation (USA);
Javier Perez, President for Europe, MasterCard (USA);

Addressing Climate Change: Potential Costs and Opportunities :

• The success of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris has made addressing climate change a top-priority issue, with clear targets to moderate further global temperature increases.
* But limiting greenhouse gases will have costs for many legacy industries – estimated by some to top USD 100 billion – while new investments in science and technology will spur new business opportunities and expand markets.
* How are businesses adjusting their strategies in the light of these changes and
* will the potential benefits of creating green industries and mitigating climate change risks outweigh the costs of restructuring certain industrial sectors and building the required infrastructure? 

Healthcare in Russia: How to Build a More Effective System?
* Russian healthcare over the past century has been recognized as a global leader in many areas.
* More recently, the government has introduced the “Health” National Priority Project and regional modernization programmes.
* What institutional and managerial solutions could help Russia regain its reputation for setting global standards?

Journalism & Artificial Intelligence:
* Newest Technologies vs. Traditional Journalism.
* Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat to the Journalistic Profession?
* The new era of technical innovation is resulting in fundamental changes to many traditional business procedures, jobs and professions – and journalism is no exception.
* Computer software is offering cutting- edge online solutions that increasingly surpass humans in terms of speed and quality of produced content.
* Automatic scripts for writing news products based on processing raw data are being widely used by dozens of news organizations around the world and
* these news writing robots do not need holidays or weekends, never miss deadlines and generate content ready at a fraction of the cost.
* How far away are we from the day when machines acquire the ability to perform journalistic investigations and write analytical memos?
* Are we on the doorstep of a new era when human beings will no longer be necessary to do a journalist’s job?

Re-Globalization: Tectonic Shifts in the Geo-Economic Landscape In cooperation with VTB Bank:

• The inevitability of unabated globalization and its unquestioned benefit for the global community have recently unravelled, straining national politics, altering international relations, and transforming global markets.
* In its place are emerging regional trading blocks, such as TPP and TTIP, to name a few, a new generation of financial and economic institutions, and the potential for new trade and investment flows.
* But the many risks of destabilization and a growing tide of geopolitical turmoil are challenging policymakers and businesses to navigate this transformation to a new global paradigm.
* How will these new factors impact issues that, by their nature, are global, such as energy, climate change, trade, finance, etc.?
* And what steps should be taken to mitigate risks and create a more sustainable economic architecture? 

Global currency:
* The world’s reserve currency system is undergoing increasingly visible shifts.
* The inclusion of the yuan in the SDR basket is symbolic of the growing weight of the developing nations.
* While the US economy as a percentage of global GDP in relative terms is shrinking,
* the role of the US dollar in global finance remains deeply entrenched.
* What are the risks inherent to a global financial system tied so closely to the “greenback”, and
* what steps can and should be taken to create a more stable basket of currencies?

Russia–North America: Business Outlook for Economic Cooperation – a Reality Check :

• In the current economic climate and weak economic environment, the majority of North American companies active in Russia are maintaining the status quo of their positions or in some cases expanding operations.
* What do Russian, US, and Canadian companies believe to be the prospects for, and potential benefits and risks of, expanded business and economic cooperation?
* What confidence-building measures could the three governments take to improve the conditions for business development and commercial engagement? 

Russia–Japan: Creating a New Business Cooperation Model :
* The development of mutually beneficial economic relations with countries in the Asia-Pacific region is a priority for Russia and strengthening the partnership with Japan – one of the world’s largest financial, economic, and investment centres – is among the most promising.
* Investment projects, establishing Russian–Japanese enterprises, and jointly promoting goods and services on the markets of third countries are extremely important to businesses in Russia and Japan, and offer a great deal of promise.
* Recently, as a result of weakness in both economies, there has been a decline in bilateral trade and investment.
* How can the current difficulties be overcome, and what should be done to diversify trade and economic cooperation between the two countries?
* What practical steps could be taken to promote relations and bring economic ties to a new level?

Exports :
* Over the past decade and a half, Russia’s trade has predominantly centred around the export of oil, gas, and other commodities.
* However, the country’s geographical position, wealth of resources, and strong science and technology foundations provide the fundamentals for a competitive manufacturing sector, while the rouble exchange rate and export support measures are boosting the potential for entry into new markets.
* In complement to the country’s traditional CIS and European Union trading partners, the Asia-Pacific region, characterized by its enormous array of industrial, transport, social, and urban infrastructure development projects, is becoming an increasingly important market.
* What steps should Russian producers take to expand their presence in global markets and build more systematic integration into global supply chains and the long-term development programmes of foreign partners?
* What should the government do to better support and develop exports?

Putting Domestic Investment to Work to Drive Expansion :
* In fast-growing economies, the main sources of economic growth are domestic and private investment.
* Corporate profits, private savings, and state and non-governmental pension funds can all be more effectively channelled into financing productive elements of the Russian economy, providing needed corporate and infrastructure funding while enhancing productivity.
* What mechanisms should the government and regulators consider for facilitating safe deployment of domestic savings into return- generating ventures?
* Should the corporate bond market or other alternative investment instruments be developed further?
* What is the role of investment in diversifying the economy and which sectors can demonstrate the greatest potential?

Labour Mobility and the Future of the Social Contract Between the Company and Employees :
* Labour mobility, particularly for young people early in their careers, is an important aspect for gaining experience and professional development.
* However the mass exodus of a skilled, youthful workforce can have a negative impact on local communities.
* How can the trend of labour migration best be managed and what incentives should be put in place to create sustainable development models for local communities?
* How can companies create the right environment to retain talent and provide career progression?
* And what is the role of education in underpinning labour mobility strategies? 

University Education in a Changing World :
* Finding the right balance in the relationship between business and universities has been a subject of debate for more than a century.
* The issue has become even more pertinent in recent years as the university of the future will not only have to educate its students, but also develop their technological and business skills and instill a culture of entrepreneurship.
* Do the challenges in modern education require a fundamental rethinking of paradigms and approaches or
* is the role of the university simply to ensure that graduates find jobs?
* How can universities become the epicentre of change and development for a region, industries, or a country, and are these models universal?
* How should Russia’s higher education system be organized and should it retain its current department- and industry-based structure?

Public Private Partnerships:
* There are currently 873 PPP projects underway in Russia, with the total volume of private investment topping RUB 640.3 billion.
* Most concessionary projects are in housing and utilities, and 2015 was a year 
of huge growth in the sector, with a tenfold increase in investment volumes over the previous year.
* How can this growth be explained and can the housing and utilities experience be applied to other sectors?
* Has the potential for international investment in the real economy been exhausted and what can be done to make such opportunities more attractive to foreign capital?
* Are additional measures needed to stimulate private investment in housing and utilities?

Mutual Funding in Rental Housing: To Trust or Not to Trust?

• Mutual funding in rental housing is a modern and innovative investment tool to spur growth in the Russian housing market.
* What might be the impact of collective investment on rental housing and could this lead to the economic revival of the sector?
* Could this tool be considered as an alternative to private ownership and what are the benefits and risks involved for citizens, government, and businesses?

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