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Russian development scenarios to be discussed at World Economic Forum

January 23, 2013, 12:03 UTC+3

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and not President Vladimir Putin who had initially intended to go there, will represent Russia at the event

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RF Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich on Tuesday announced the main items on the agenda of the World Economic Forum (WEF) that is opening in Davos on Wednesday – the Russian development scenarios and the country’s role in the world economy. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and not President Vladimir Putin who had initially intended to go there, will represent Russia at the event.

The Scenarios for Russia session will be held at the Davos Economic Forum today, the Vedomosti newspaper writes. The reason for the increased attention to Russia is its presidency in the Group of Twenty. According to RF Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, Russia has sent its largest delegation ever to Switzerland.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will explain that Russia is an open country for investors. The Russian delegation will show specific projects.

The Davos Forum has prepared a report, saying that Russia has an unenviable future, stresses the newspaper. Whatever is happening in the country and the world, Russia will be a passive player: it will either sluggishly respond to changes or sluggishly defend itself.

The Vedomosti newspaper has familiarised with the report on which the Forum’s experts – more than 350 executives, officials and researchers have worked throughout 2012. Three paths for the development of Russia are suggested. The experts put the three main questions for Russia: what will the global energy market be like? How effective will be the reform of the institutional environment? What will be the impact of the state of society on the institutional reform?

The scenarios from the Davos Forum are going from bad to worse – research supervisor of the Higher School of Economics Yevgeny Yasin comments, but in reality it is not all that bad. The market economy laws work in Russia, he stresses, and there will be positive changes given any scenario.

According to RF Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, the country’s development scenarios are not an attempt to make forecasts, but highlight three uncertainties the resolution of which will determine the future of Russia, the Novye Izvestia daily writes. Among the three uncertainties were named the global commodity markets situation, the pace of institutional reforms in Russia and the degree of regional integration or differentiation. On their basis the economists formulated three versions of the developments: the scenario of low commodity prices, the scenario of high prices, but low level of institutional reforms and the scenario of increasing regional differentiation. Dvorkovich called all the three scenarios relatively negative.

The RF delegation is headed by Prime Dmitry Medvedev, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper reports. Answering the question “why not Putin” Arkady Dvorkovich said that this decision was taken after the discussion of the working schedule of the president and prime minister. “According to the schedule, Mr Medvedev had two free days for visiting Davos,” Dvorkovich said.

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