In the first of a series of blogs from the Troika Dialog Investment Forum in Moscow, the impact of social networks on Russia's political outlook is discussed.
Delegates also voted on whether capitalism and democracy are compatible. ‘Always’ was the response of 37.5%, ‘For the most part’ was 48%, ‘Seldom’ was 12.7%, and ‘Never’ was just 1.8%.
From Russia’s Institute of Contemporary Development, Vladimir Mau pointed out that as the economy expands and people pay more tax, they will demand a greater say in social and political structures, which in Russia would be a very positive trend. This would be enhanced by Russia’s closer integration with Europe, he added. He saw Russia, Germany and France at the core of the eventual co-operation.
New York University Economics professor Nouriel Roubini reflected on the fact that social instability exists at both an international and domestic level and the latter cannot alone fix it. “We need a global response that is then executed at a domestic level,” he said.
For former Pakistan prime minister Shaukat Aziz, Russia’s two big advantages are very strong human capital, with a highly educated population, and a big resource base that delivers steady budget revenues. Russia now needs to increase governance, strengthen institutions and improve the rule of law in order to bring in more capital to achieve economic diversity.
Speakers noted that the growing power of the BRIC economies will see them push to join the institutions now dominated by the developed rich nations, such as the World Bank and IMF. Rich nations will have to make more room for middle-income countries if there is to be an effective global response to the crisis.
In concluding remarks, Raghuram Rajan, professor of Finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Busines, said the core of the current global problem is a financial crisis, and this will have to be fixed if the global social crisis is to be solved. The world cannot function and jobs cannot be created without a properly functioning global financial sector.