Russian Economy Overview
After a recreative evening we started our day with a presentation by Dr. Vera Kononova, Deputy Head of Research Department at ICSS. She explained us about macroeconomic trends in Russia such as GDP, inflation, development in different economic sectors, investments and taxes.
Russia has been growing rapidly since the political crisis in 1998. This growth is however based mostly on the exports of oil gas and due to oil price increase. Development of industry as well as the bank and financial sector is crucial for sustainable development in Russia. In the last 10 years inflation has remained above initial targets (stagnated). Unfortunately foreign and local investments have been stagnated and it comes more to money outflow than inflow. The Russian tax system looks structured but changes often. This prevents companies from budgeting tax payment. Social indicators show how big the poverty in Russia is (circa 40%). It’s still not clear how Russians survive with very low income in such as a high-cost country.
Visit to Siemens Russia
The next highlight of this day was a visit to Siemens Russia. Ms. Nina Scherbina, SCM Head, gave us a very structured and professional presentation.
She told us a history of a company, current developments such as a new train “Lastochka” for the Olympics. She also emphasized the importance of sustainability – quite new mindset for Russia – and hiring of young professionals. Another presenter shared with us one of Siemens’ huge projects: Siemens is going to build 400 locomotives for the Russian railway by 2015, which is extremely important for the whole transportation infrastructure in Russia.
Back to the University a young and successful Russian executive from the VTB24 Bank presented about Russian economy outlook 2012. She talked about slow economic growth and necessity of reforms in education and pension system.
Dinner at Shinok Restaurant
The “Shinok” restaurant was a great conclusion of this long day.
This restaurant was built as a small Russian farm with real cows, chickens and a grandmother (!) within the farm. Food and drinks were very authentic. With colorful and richly-presented appetizers as well as with a nice glass of vodka we started our small Russian party. We were nicely surprised by Russian live songs and music, which entertained us the whole evening.
In addition, some of us were taught how to dance and play music in an Ukrainian folkloric style. Tired but happy and a bit drunk, we were brought back to the hotel. Unfortunately I had to leave our group after dinner and couldn’t join the bar hopping. I hope you had a lovely long and funny evening guys.