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Digitalization – An Engine for Growth and Inclusive Development

24 May 2018
Цифровизация — двигатель роста и инклюзивного развития

Key conclusions

Digital transformation is important for the effective development of government and business

“The digitalization of the economy is an inevitable stage of its evolution. The digital agenda on the margins of the G20 is relevant and appropriate, and we hope that this discussion will be useful for all participating countries” – President of Rostelecom Mikhail Oseevsky.

“There are five pillars of our digital economy: regulatory control; infrastructure; network security, i.e., cybersecurity; education, namely, training professionals for the digital economy; and forming partnerships to create end-to-end technology platforms. These five pillars are not business as I understand it, but a function of the government working in partnership with business; the goal here is not to make money” – Arkady Dvorkovich, Chairman of the Russia 2018 Organizing Committee.

“Digital changes everything: costs, models, and management systems. There is a lot of work ahead. On behalf of the government, I would like to wish those participating in the panel session success and assure you that open dialogue, listening to your requests, responding to them, and changing under the influence of digital technologies remain the top priorities of the government” – Maxim Akimov, Deputy Prime Minister, Government of the Russian Federation.

Digitalizing the economy requires major investment in infrastructure

“A lack of resources to finance sustainable infrastructure remains a serious challenge. McKinsey estimates that the global demand for infrastructure financing between 2015 and 2030 will be about USD 93 trillion. Most of this demand will be in the energy sector (USD 40 trillion); followed by transportation (USD 27 trillion); water supply and waste treatment (USD 19 trillion); and telecoms (USD 7 trillion). However, based on existing investment trends, infrastructure investment is expected to be just USD 47 trillion. Only the telecommunications sector can count on being able to fully cover demand” – Alexander Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE).

Importance of cooperation between government and business

“We are seeing a situation where business is looking at the opinions and atmosphere taking shape in the world of politics, and it seems, to a large extent, that it is consequently falling behind in its very important, leading role in solving the biggest challenges facing the world” – Viktor Vekselberg, President of the Skolkovo Foundation.

“The government and business have to understand each other better and cooperate more effectively; that will be the most important element, and it will allow us to work in an uncertain environment” – Vladimir Basko, General Director of Infopark and Chairman of the EAEC Business Council Committee on the Digital Agenda.


Difficulties in predicting and understanding digitalization processes

“Every year more questions arise; we cannot fully understand how to measure all aspects of the new digital transformation, how to overcome existing challenges, or how to use the potential offered by a new digital age more fully” – Svetlana Lukash, Russian G20 Sherpa.

Strengthening the digital divide

“Inequality is increasing. For example, according to experts from the World Economic Forum and McKinsey, only 29% of industrial companies polled have begun introducing the Internet of Things into production. Forty-one percent of companies are still in the pilot phase, and 30% have not even begun testing these kinds of technologies” – Alexander Shokhin.

Digitalization in the Russian Federation is not far advanced

“As for various ratings indicating progress on digitalization, we are a long way behind those at the top. According to the Networked Readiness Index (the World Economic Forum index calculated on the basis of a number of indicators, from public procurement to the impact of digitalization on society), our country is ranked 41st out of 139” – Alexander Shokhin.


Developing the education system

“We need to create a system that will avoid the risk of joblessness due to automation. The key to solving this kind of challenge is education. We must join forces with the digital community and civil society so that everyone has the opportunity to receive a quality education that will enable them to discover and develop their potential” – Ricardo Lagorio, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Argentine Republic to Russia.

“Digitalization is one of the cornerstones of our discussion. We believe that there are two trends which are closely linked to digitalization: the digital economy, economy 4.0, and employment and education. I would like to emphasize the role of education, in particular” – Daniel Funes de Rioja, B20 Chairman, Argentine Presidency of the G20.

Digitalization needs a new regulatory framework

“When implementing digital projects, we see very active goal-oriented activity. A programme was adopted to consider and approve 53 new laws in the next two years, with 27 to be considered and adopted this year” – Viktor Vekselberg.

“We don’t have to go from one extreme to another, where there either is regulation or there isn’t. We need to find a good balance. The general principle governing this approach should be based on how we can create mechanisms that enable countries to benefit from cross-border protocols” – Deep Kapuria, Co-chair of the B20 Task Force on the Digital Economy and Industry 4.0 and Chief Executive Officer of The Hi-Tech Gears Ltd.

Digitalizing infrastructure

“Russian Railways plans to develop new Russian platforms that will improve the quality of infrastructure management. This is a difficult question; it requires serious investment and we need to attract a large number of professionals. And Russian Railways will do this in the near future. A consortium based on the Skolkovo Triangle (Skolkovo Innovation Center, School of Management SKOLKOVO and the New Economic School) has been created which, along with industry partners, will coordinate this work” – Arkady Dvorkovich.

“We are entering a ten-year contract with Rostelecom to solve one of the main challenges in promoting the digital agenda throughout our country. As a result of this contract, all small towns will be connected to the Internet. We already have 14,983 such towns (at the time the contract was signed). Almost 70% of the contract has been fulfilled” – Oleg Dukhovnitsky, Head of the Federal Communications Agency (Rossvyaz).

Creating special structures for digitalization

“Many management bodies need to make additional efforts to grasp new technologies and digitalization for the future development of the company. At Carlsberg, we took the simple route: we mobilized a ‘digital council’, a digital governing body, including young people who are not afraid to think differently. This allowed us to identify many issues that we would not have noticed otherwise” – Cees 't Hart, President and CEO of Carlsberg Group.

For more details go to the Roscongress Foundation Information and Analytical System’s website.