The Great Debate UK
President Putin recently noted that Russia has emerged from the global financial crisis in a stronger position than before, and that average wages will increase by 60% by the year 2020. Traditionally, many people think of Russia as a provider of natural resources, and increasingly as a safe pair of hands for mega-events, such as the upcoming Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, the Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2014, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Today the Russian economy is the sixth largest in the world, with an output which may potentially exceed US$ 2 trillion in 2012. Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 4.2 per cent in 2011, making the country the third fastest growing economy after China and India.
I take a keen interest in how policy-makers and businesses are finding economic solutions to meet societal challenges, and I hope global business leaders and policymakers will look to the city of Ekaterinburg as a model for growth.
Ekaterinburg has moved from traditional industrial production to a specialisation in science and technology. This shift has led to a rise in GDP of the surrounding region from 20.7 billion Roubles in 2009 to a forecasted 34.3 billion Roubles in 2012. Capitalising on existing industrial expertise taught in the 16 universities around Ekaterinburg, the priority is to turn innovative research into ready-for-market products and services. Business initiatives such as the Titanium Valley Special Economic Zone have been set up close to Ekaterinburg, at a government cost of more than 50 billion Roubles, to attract foreign investment and expertise. Global technology leaders such as Boeing, Rolls Royce and Goodrich have recently set-up shop in the SEZ, and the wider region now hosts 400 joint ventures, involving cross-border capital from 64 countries and input from 300 representative offices of foreign companies.
from The Great Debate:
By Gordon Brown
The views expressed are his own.
The build-up to the G20 summit has been dominated by the euro's failings. With Europe now the epicenter of the global crisis, its continued weakness will dominate the G20 discussions. Even now, uncertainties about Greece’s future -- and about the real strength of Europe’s commitment to its new stability fund -- has left little opportunity for a focus on the global economy as a whole.
But even if the state of the world economy has featured less than the euro in the preparatory work for the summit, the decisions world leaders will make on the global economy will dictate the mood of the coming two years. President Sarkozy has major global initiatives he will unveil to improve global food security, and may even force his plan for a global financial levy on the agenda. But there is a big choice the G20 must make. Either the world will come together and agree on a coordinated growth plan -- or we will retreat into a new, more acrimonious protectionism.
It is fairly commonplace at the moment for U.S. and UK financial analysts -- what continental Europeans call the Anglo-Saxons -- to predict the collapse of the euro zone, a project they were mostly sceptical about in the first place. MacroScope touched on this on two occasions in March.
The latest foray into this area comes from Alan Brown, global chief investment officer at the large UK fund firm Schroders. But he does it with twist, blaming what he sees as the eventual collapse of the euro zone not on the structure itself nor on the profligacy of peripheral economies, but on Germany's response to the crisis.
How can human production be transformed and harnessed to save the planet? Can the market economy really help solve the environmental crisis?
Author Heather Rogers argues in a new book that current efforts to green the planet need to be reconsidered.