19 September 2013
In a dramatic departure from the old Soviet tradition to keep foreigners away from academic management, an American has been appointed vice rector of a leading university in Russia`s Nizhny Novgorod (see “Latest News,” Sept. 19). Other Russian universities might also decide to follow suit. What do you think the internationalization of university administrations may lead to?
Breathing new life into academic activity, especially with regard to bringing scientific ideas to market
Increased leaks of Russian technology know-how abroad
27 August 2013
Russian and international analysts have displayed a manifest divergence in prioritizing key areas for innovation research and investment. While KPMG bets on clouds and mobile, Russia`s NAIRIT thinks programmable matter and human organs growing technology are in play (see Latest News section, Aug. 26 and 22, resp.). In a surprising unanimity, however, neither has prioritized nanotechnology. Why do you think nanotech is left to `wait in the wings`?
Nanotech is too monopolized by the state as a research area
Its economic significance is overestimated/exaggerated
It won`t ensure a good ROI for investors
21 June 2013
The Levada Center, a Russian public opinion researcher, found in its June 2013 poll that only 23% of those polled believed that the government funds allocated for the Skolkovo innovation hub outside Moscow (an endeavor that some critics call “Prime Minister Medvedev`s pet project”) would be spent effectively, while a considerable 25% said the money would be misappropriated. What do you think fuels public skepticism and growing mistrust?
Media reports on Skolkovo`s most recent embezzlement scandal
Lack of tangible results from Skolkovo activity (new disruptive technologies, noteworthy resident projects, etc.)
The Russians` chronic cynicism regarding anything big that government flaunts
16 April 2013
According to Russian Government estimates, just under 50% of a total of 86 million people of working age in Russia are believed to be employed in “non-transparent and barely understandable” entities; and according to the Central Bank of Russia, every tenth Russian company dodged tax payment last year. What do you think drives Russian employers into the shadow economy which is estimated to account for as much as 46% of Russia`s GDP?
Burdensome tax rates
Excessively complicated tax-paying regime
Inability to avoid red tape holdups and corruption if operating legally
Russians` innate drive to “dupe the system”
26 March 2013
According to a high-ranking Moscow healthcare official, just about 50 new drugs hit the Russian pharma market every year and “none of those is produced in Russia.” The statement comes as a surprise in a market that announces almost daily new biomed projects and breakthroughs. It also devalues somewhat the Russian government`s official rhetoric calling for at least 75% of domestically manufactured medicines by 2020. Where do you think Russia`s numerous new drugs are lost, and why?
Biomed innovators try to sell all new products abroad.
The international pharma lobby bars fledgling Russian biomed innovation from the domestic market.
Young biomed innovators fail to take their new products through the “graft barrier” of bureaucracy.
Russian biomed innovators are great at applied science but far less so at commercialization of what they develop.
06 March 2013
Women owning and/or running businesses in Russia are more likely to reject bribes than men, said the World Bank in its report surveying the burden of corruption in 37 regions between 2008 and 2011. The findings were unveiled just before the Women`s Day celebrated in Russia on March 8. Why do you think the `weaker` sex appears to be strong enough when dealing with corruption?
Women can negotiate good bargains with government without having to bribe officials.
Women are innately more law-abiding than men.
It`s a woman`s charm that forces her way through bureaucracy and wins her favorable business terms.
14 February 2013
The Russian Government admitted earlier this month that with its tentative tab of $50 billion in state and private investment the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi would be the most expensive in global history. What do you think makes the Russian Games 25 times costlier than the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada?
Grandiose entertainment programs for tourists
Super-high tech sports facilities and equipment
Lack of adequate infrastructure, most of which has to be built from the ground up
Too much corruption and misappropriation of funds
18 January 2013
Mikhail Yuriev, a former Russian politician and now an entrepreneur, is putting together a major $2bn investment plan for shale oil and gas production in the U.S. In his opinion, America offers “cheaper financing, better infrastructure and greater support for foreign businesses than Russia.” And in your opinion, what does the Russian government have to do to make Russia as attractive for international investors as the U.S. is for Mr. Yuriev and many others alike?
Reconsider tax policy
Adopt investor-support programs
Improve intellectual property protection
Ease visa and customs regimes
Weed out redundant bureaucracy and simplify administrative procedures
Improve transport infrastructure
Crack down on crime, including cybercrime
Stay as far away from investors` matters as possible, and never interfere
18 January 2013
President Vladimir Putin is bringing back a luxury tax this year, thought to be imposed on large real estate and on luxury cars—an uncommon New Year present for the well-heeled in Russia. Do you share the President`s hope that the move will help raise budgetary revenues to pay for his pre-election promises and to finance road-building?
Yes. Russia`s `deep pockets` need some wake-up call.
No. No luxury tax in the world can raise trillions that experts say Russia needs to revamp infrastructure.
Hardly. The wealthy will find ways to avoid paying, as they always have.
07 December 2012
Russia apparently wants top government officials to return to the boards of state-controlled companies. In a sharp reversal of the early 2011 decision to remove officials from the boards, made by then-President Dmitry Medvedev, federal deputy ministers may come back to 70% of government firms. What do you think prompts today`s leadership to play `there and back again`?
Too much influence of private business and independent members on the boards
As the majority shareholder the state wants to maximize returns from the businesses
Officials would help push through the boards more pro-Russian business strategies
Having government officials on the boards would facilitate misappropriation of corporate budgets
The decision might have been made to disparage Dmitry Medvedev and his prior policies
22 November 2012
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev three weeks ago sent back to the drawing board a draft Cabinet proposal to rely to a greater extent on private investments in science and innovation, calling the reliance “absolutely unrealistic.” What do you think the Russian government should do prior to hoping for an increase in private capital?
Boost government spending, thus making hi-tech research more advanced and therefore less risky for private investing
Enact more laissez-faire regulations and programs to lower administrative barriers for private investing
Educate innovators to help them trust private capital
Educate the domestic VC investor willing to risk his money on technology
Encourage foreign investors to come and invest in Russian technology
Leave everything as is; private investing will evolve all on its own
19 October 2012
According to a survey conducted among 13,000 online adults in 24 countries by Norton, an Internet security provider, Russia with its 92% of reported web-based scheming exposure has the highest global rate of cybercrime, costing the country an estimated $1.9bn in one year. With email messages urging receivers to follow a link or call a number found to be “the biggest scam” in Russia, what do you think makes people buy into cheaters` ploys:
Adventurous spirit (“let`s see what`s out there!”)
Very lifelike scenarios that scammers use to sound convincing
03 October 2012
According to the latest OECD findings, Russian adults aged 25-64 rank among the world`s best educated, with 88% having an upper secondary education and 54% being university graduates and postgraduates (compared to an OECD average of 74% and 31%, respectively). Nevertheless, the international rankings of Russian universities, even the most renowned like Moscow State University, have slid recently. What do you think are the main deficiencies undermining the image of the Russian institutions of higher education?
Obsolete curricula, outdated philosophy of education
Professors` old habits, behind-the-times mentality
Lack of modern equipment for study/research
Weak or no links with science-related business; no employment incentives for students
Inadequate innovation commercialization activity; too few or inefficient spin-offs
25 September 2012
Sergei Ivanov, the Russian President`s Chief of Staff, sounds unvexed at news of Russia`s leading positions in a range of international corruption rankings, and tends to label those “subjective.” He believes there’s no “tragedy” in the fact. What do you think of Russia`s level of corruption from personal experience where you live/stay?
The notion is far-fetched and barely existent.
I`ve heard of corruption reports but have no confirmation.
Corruption is sprawling, and I`ve personally suffered / know from trusted sources.
It`s just the West scheming to capsize Russia`s image internationally.
05 September 2012
A draft federal budget for 2013-2015 is said to call for severe spending cuts affecting science and state-sponsored research and development. For example, the Ministry of Finance may slash a $90+m Russian Fundamental Research Foundation capitalization program, deny Russia`s `science cities` $260m in infrastructure budgets, and veto $280m worth of purchases of large scientific installations. In medical science, spending on new research centers and development of innovation equipment is believed to be labeled `non-priority,` and planned nuclear medicine allocations might be delayed. Bearing in mind Russia`s frequent official statements of invariable pro-innovation policy, what may this mean, in your opinion?
Actual scrapping of national modernization policy
Overall lack of government funds, not only for science
False information leak to have budget recipients scramble for targeted funding (incl. using bribery schemes)
The Ministry of Finance sabotaging the President’s official line
21 August 2012
According to a recent Public Opinion Foundation poll, WTO skeptics have proliferated dramatically in Russia (now 28%, up 13% from a prior poll in 2004). Today, only 21% of the Russian respondents believe the WTO, of which Russia is already a member, will bring more advantages than harm. 51% had no coherent opinion about it. What may have contributed to growing pessimism, in your opinion?
Lack or inefficiency of PR efforts explaining WTO benefits
Mentality inertia prompting the Russians to think WTO membership will torpedo sectors that stick to old practices
Some respondents` insider information about alarming facts
Simply unwillingness to change and modernize
02 August 2012
Standard & Poor`s believes Russia`s banking system is most likely to avoid a major hit from the eurozone crisis due to limited direct links with eurozone banks. However, Standard & Poor`s still sees the deterioration of global macroeconomic fundamentals, leading to a slowdown, as the major risk for Russian banks. What, in your opinion, do Russian banking authorities have to accomplish to cushion those risks?
inject reserve funds into Russia`s most networked banks
quickly revoke licenses of currently vulnerable banks
encourage banks to bring on board more internationally renowned banking experts
alter Central Bank rules to make those conducive to small and medium-sized innovation business developing products for the domestic market
04 May 2012
As Russia is getting ready to switch to professional armed forces, the Russian government has pledged $680+bn to the across-the-board rearmament of the national Army and Navy over the next eight years. Rekindling demand for new weapons and equipment is a way of boosting Russia`s industrial growth, the Kremlin believes. Is it the right path to modernization in the 21st century for a country like Russia, in your opinion?
Yes; the U.S. stepped up the government funding of defense projects in the mid-1900s and thereby boosted rapid technology development
No; turning Russia once again into a global bugaboo will distract science from market-focused innovation
It could be a way; but in today`s technology-driven world that pivots on market demand taking this roundabout route may throw Russia back to the 20th century
30 March 2012
In a somewhat controversial statement by presidential economic adviser Arkady Dvorkovich, the Russian government is requiring that state-owned companies running a number of innovation programs contribute 1% of their program revenues to Skolkovo development. Your opinion on this:
Fair decision; the RF has helped the companies to get revenue streams from government programs, and they need to nurture the RF`s innovation baby in return.
Why Skolkovo? There are many regional innovation programs that need funding more than Skolkovo.
Coercing businesses to pay for `official` innovation may discourage them from pushing their own modernization agendas.
26 February 2012
According to Russian government estimates, money laundering may have accounted for 40% of 2011`s huge $84.2bn net capital outflow, placing this country`s shadow economy at 16% of its GDP. What, in your opinion, are the prospects of Russia`s declared innovation drive given the above?
Prospects are murky.
The two economies, innovation and shadow, can co-exist.
Russia will step up its crackdown on money laundering.
08 February 2012
Frustrating forecasters who expected last year`s huge $84.2bn net capital outflows to continue in the first few months of 2012, international investment in Russia totaled a reported $237m in the last week of January alone. What do you think emboldened foreign investors?
Investors have already factored in the March presidential election and want to continue `business as usual.`
Investors once again believe in Russia`s innovation reform.
Those may have been one-off investments in specific long-term projects.
That was short-lived; a slack season and continued outflows may follow.
01 February 2012
In the West, some vocally oppose Russia`s membership in the BRICS group of fast-growing economies, saying the RF is “inefficient and corrupt” and deserves no place among the emerging players like China or India. Your opinion:
Russia is reformed and developed enough to continue its BRICS membership unconditionally.
Russia still has many issues to address but deserves to stay a BRICS country.
Russia is way too behind the other BRICS countries and has to be removed from the group now.
18 January 2012
Fitch ratings agency has downgraded Russia`s credit outlook from "positive" to "stable", citing heightened political uncertainty and ever-increasing capital flight as the main drivers of the downgrade. What is your personal 2012 outlook for this country`s declared path to innovation?
Innovation drive will continue after the March presidential election.
Innovation drive will slow after the election.
There will only be a select few ‘showcase’ technology areas for the state to develop.
Stagnation will come to whittle away innovation.
23 December 2011
The ruble-denominated MICEX and the dollar-denominated RTS have merged in a $4.5bn combined stock exchange in a bid to sell the idea of Moscow as an international financial center to Russian and global issuers and encourage them to do IPOs locally rather than in London or New York. Your outlook for this idea?
Moscow will be a global financial hub in 10-to-15 years
the idea will materialize earlier in 5-to-10 years
it will never materialize; issuers won`t support it
the Kremlin will mothball the idea until better economic times
16 December 2011
The RF Security Council`s Patrushev called on December 15 for Internet controls in Russia, echoing a group of some Russian top-level hardliners that thereby hope to disarm the political opposition using the Web to orchestrate protests. Is this a likely measure, in your opinion?
09 December 2011
According to a VTsIOM survey conducted in Russia`s 138 localities, low living standards are of primary concern for Russians (53%), followed by housing and utility costs (51%) and inflation (47%). The democracy and human rights issue trailed in the poll with just 9%. Which of these is of main concern for you personally?
lower-than-expected living standards
cost of housing and utilities
challenged democracy and human rights
01 December 2011
PricewaterhouseCoopers has surveyed Russia for current economic crime trends and discovered a 34% decline in reported cases of criminal misdemeanor committed against 126 respondents polled (37% now vs. 71% at a similar survey two years ago). However, Russia is still ranked worst out of 78 countries for economic crime rates. What do you think the drop is attributable to?
business players have become more law-abiding
government regulators have become more law-abiding
some cases have not been reported for fear of reprisals
18 November 2011
Russia is now Europe`s largest Internet market with just under 51 million users. However, Russia`s still far behind most other European countries in a users to total population ratio (about 50% compared to 82% in the UK or 80% in Germany). What do you think still keeps many Russians from joining the Internet community?
low incomes; not enough cash to afford a computer and Internet access
no necessity; many don`t need any to make their living
habit: “I did great without it and still will”
prejudice: “Internet is a time killer”
poor networks restricting access in many localities
reluctance to expose their children to harmful information
16 November 2011
Following Japan, Canada and the U.S. Russia has said no to the extension of the Kyoto Protocol—a once powerful international tool designed to hopefully prevent global warming. What prompted Russia to do so, in your opinion, after years of supporting the Protocol?
economic grounds; reducing greenhouse gas emissions within five years as required by the Protocol would derail the economy
political grounds; Russia`s opted to join `the world`s mighty` and then benefit from the move
cultural grounds; Russia`s chosen to take everybody at unawares, once again showing `its soul can`t be comprehended`
03 November 2011
Some top movers and shakers from Wall Street met RF President Medvedev on October 28 to advise him on what to do to make Moscow a global financial center. Is the idea of turning the RF capital into such a center credible to you?
yes; with its capital flows Moscow can become one
no; the world is used to having the existing centers and doesn`t need another one
talk of Moscow as a future financial magnet is only the Kremlin`s PR move
28 October 2011
Georgia is calling off its political issues in WTO talks with Russia, thus clearing the way for the RF`s likely accession to the organization in December 2011 already. Does Russia really need its long-awaited membership?
yes; accession will enhance healthy competition across sectors and lower the Russian economy`s dependence on commodities
no; Russian companies, especially in agro and metals, will be overwhelmed by competition; they need government protection
Russia needs WTO membership for international image rather than economic reasons
24 October 2011
In Thailand that used to export mostly rice, an estimated 20+% of its exports are now hi-tech products. In Malaysia once selling just palm oil and caoutchouc, electronics accounts for 40% of exports. Your timeframe forecast for a hi-tech shift in Russia`s exports with its current 75% of hydrocarbons and less than 5% of value-added products?
currently under way, will take 2-5 years to materialize
10-15 years to materialize
more than 15 years
no shift possible for as long as crude`s available and in demand
07 October 2011
In the wake of Steve Jobs` untimely death, why do you think he`s left such a tremendous imprint on the technology world we now know?
his company polished and refined technologies better than competitors
his company outpaced competitors in a race to meet long-standing market demand
his company anticipated market trends that had yet to emerge, sensing what buyers might want in future
his imprint on the technology world is largely exaggerated
23 September 2011
Facing a 2012-2014 budget deficit, the Russian government is considering reversing prior plans to lower the unified social tax and keeping it at today`s prohibitive 34%. How do you think this will tell on Russia`s SMEs?
many SMEs will go belly up
public protests are likely
a greater percentage of salaries will be paid in `black cash` to avoid paying tax
nothing will change
16 September 2011
RF Regional Development Minister Viktor Basargin likened foreign investors to vacuum cleaners saying, "they are sucking out raw materials...." How would you as an international investor react to a statement like this?
decide to process resources within the RF to value-added products
consider this a disincentive for entry into the Russian market
if already inside, consider leaving and never returning
09 September 2011
The World Economic Forum has reportedly moved Russia three lines down to #66 in its most recent Global Competitiveness Index, behind the other BRIC countries. What do you think is the key reason for the downgrade?
Russia`s innovation potential
quality of higher education
labor market efficiency
inefficient anti-monopoly policies
weak rule of law
unprotected property rights
22 August 2011
Russia`s police reported a flight abroad "on dubious grounds" of $174bn during the past 15 months, attributing the phenomenon mostly to kickbacks (bribes) in the field of government procurement orders. What do you think the RF should do to curb the illegal practices:
dismay kickback takers by dramatically increasing terms of sentence
legitimize kickbacks; it`s useless to fight the covert
let things be; business evolution will erase the phenomenon
15 August 2011
According to a most recent RF Interior Ministry report, the average size of a bribe in Russia has risen sharply to $10,200 from an app. $2,250 just ten months ago. Have you as a business owner or individual ever had to "oil" an authority to get what you need?
yes; I was forced to do so
yes; that`s about par for the course if you want things fast
no; I`ve never considered bribing and never will
no; I found a "detour" to avoid paying
no; but if I have to I will pay
05 August 2011
Russia may introduce import duties on devices that support the U.S.` GPS rather than its Russian global positioning counterpart, GLONASS. Would, in your opinion, this add popularity to GLONASS, a system that experts say still needs more tweaking?
yes; better pricing would turn the market scale
no; GPS has been time-tested and will hold its market
it might--but only when GLONASS satellites and supporting software are all in place and functioning
06 July 2011
We launched a new version of our website last week. Your opinion (compared to the previous design)?
like it; better than before
dislike; worse than before
looks ok but needs tweaking
23 June 2011
In this last round of polls that have helped us identify our target audience (pls see prior polls archived) please tell us if you are:
expat living and working in Russia
Russian national living and working outside Russia
17 June 2011
We aim to know more about you to provide better services (pls see prior polls archived for readership profile details). Please identify your corporate position:
09 June 2011
Please help us improve the quality of content and identify the economic sector you`d prefer to read about on our website (pls see prior polls archived for readership profile details):
oil & gas, other extraction
hi-tech, science-intensive sector
02 June 2011
Please identify the geographic area you represent (pls see prior polls archived for readership profile details):
Russia and the CIS
Western and Central Europe
South and Latin Americas
Asia, Australia and Oceania
26 May 2011
Please identify your age groups for us to be able to maximize reach and ensure you all find content interesting (pls see prior polls archived). You are:
18 May 2011
We`d like to better understand our readership profile to be able to improve editorial policy and add more value to our website. Please identify yourself:
employed in business/entrepreneur
15 April 2011
What companies, in your opinion, will be most interested in a new Russian Internet-based exchange where shares of privately held innovation companies are traded?
Start-ups, first-time seekers of VC funding
Growing companies, following one or two rounds of VC funding
Mature companies prior to or in lieu of an IPO
It’s unlikely to be in demand; standard offline instruments are enough
30 March 2011
The net capital outflows from Russia topped $95bn in 2009 and 2010, making it the only BRIC country to lose funds (the others gained). What is scaring off investors, in your opinion?
poor legislation and law enforcement
political roller coaster
15 March 2011
Prime Minister Putin suggests extending Russia`s special economic zone (SEZ) program beyond its 20-year limit to "allow residents to plan longer-term projects" as well as cutting tax rates for SEZ businesses. The RF has injected $987m in Russia`s 24 zones thus far; another $610m has been earmarked for this year. Do the SEZs add value to Russia`s fledgling innovation effort?
yes; they help incubate start-ups and develop larger innovation companies
not sure; little commercialization so far
no; the system is highly bureaucratic, no financial transparency
04 March 2011
According to a recent Romir poll, 59% of respondents believe Russia`s WTO accession will entail improved management of Russian businesses. Your opinion?
agree; domestic companies will bring management style in line with international best practices
not sure; at least in RF-owned firms `old guard` ways will prevail
commodity and trading companies will hardly be incentivized to change
21 February 2011
The RF State Duma is considering President Medvedev`s bill making a bribe-taker/giver liable to fines of 100 times higher than the bribe itself. If passed, will the bill make a difference in corruption-plagued Russia?
yes; grafters will think twice before committing the crime
no; grafters will invent roundabout and more covert ways of taking/giving bribes
graft can`t possibly be vanquished in Russia
10 February 2011
According to Economy Minister Elvira Nabiullina, in 2010 Russia`s 22 largest government-owned corporations produced an aggregate of 1,000 patents, while Microsoft alone generated 3,000 and IBM 5,000. What do you think should be done to make state assets more efficient and innovation-oriented?
replace officials with scientists in management
bring foreign managers on board
24 January 2011
Russia`s oil is once again probing $100/bar. resistance. By 2020, the Academy of Sciences forecasts a rise in the price of Urals to $185/bar. "without any serious alternative" for this country`s main exports. What do you think of Russia`s innovation prospects given this:
Russia will keep pushing for modernization and fueling innovation with `petrodollars`
With little incentive to change the status quo the RF will fail to create an innovation ecosystem
Nothing will change
16 December 2010
Russia`s allocating between $20bn and $50bn for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Critics lambaste the plan noting that lots of current, and more pressing, socio-economic issues are still in limbo. Your opinion:
positive; preparation for the WC will modernize transportation and tourist infrastructure, and tourism will thrive
negative; with huge government allocations comes corruption; see the Olympic Sochi example
feast in time of plague
07 December 2010
What do you think government/universities/business should do to get scientists to be more proactive in commercializing research results?
Provide ample funding and full discretion
Train scientists in ways of collaboration with entrepreneurs
Curtail funding for labs that don`t create start-ups
26 November 2010
Prof. Daniel Isenberg from the U.S.` Babson College challenges governments` drive for innovation clusters by saying top-down cluster strategies "may perversely dull the entrepreneurial spirit rather than sharpening. " What`s your view of Russia`s numerous innovation clusters, both existing and announced?
money-wasting white elephants
great booster of entrepreneurship
good idea, but fraud will kill it
17 November 2010
According to the World Bank, hi-tech products account for just 6.5% of Russia`s exports compared to China`s 28.7% and the U.S.` 27.1%. Where does this upsetting lag come from, in your opinion?
crisis of Russian science
lack of clear mechanisms to transfer technology from science into commerce
inadequate level of corporate R&D spending
10 November 2010
Polls show youth prefers government service over entrepreneurship. Universities that train officials are showered with applications. In your opinion, which population strata have the true potential of modernizing Russia?
middle-aged owner of a mature business in industry or finance
there is no such population yet
25 October 2010
Sberbank launched a year ago its Ideas Exchange project to encourage and pay for its own employees` innovation ideas aimed at the bank`s operation optimization, and has now saved about $30m as a result. Your opinion on this?
A `democracy play`
A PR move to improve its image domestically and internationally
An interesting idea; worth planting in other companies
18 October 2010
Even with its own vast new gas reserves the U.S. has just approved an ambitious $5bn phase 1 of its Atlantic Seaboard offshore wind farms. What is your view of the prospects of wind energy in Russia?
Great idea, long overdue
With the huge hydro potential Russia possesses wind farms are a waste of money
Natural gas and coal will generate cheaper energy
13 October 2010
Why, to your mind, did President Medvedev invite Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to his Skolkovo innovation project outside Moscow?
To attract investors from the U. S.` Silicon Valley into the project
To revive the Russians` waning interest towards `Terminator`
It is Mr. Medvedev`s promo gimmick to glamorize Skolkovo for the Russians and add significance to it
Skolkovo will host another `Terminator` movie sequel
04 October 2010
An innovation cluster has been announced in Kemerovo to apply science to addressing age-old problems of the coal sector. What should the cluster focus on, to your mind?
Developing new hi-tech, value-added products from coal
Helping reduce disastrous death tolls in Russian mines
Whichever the focus, the sector`s systemic snags will whittle away any positive efforts
This is little more than government window dressing; $530m will be squandered
27 September 2010
Your solution to the problem of Russia`s `one-company` cities?
Government must invest in the setting up of new industries there
Government must fund programs to stimulate local SME development
Government must get a local monopoly producer to set up subsidiaries to boost employment
Government must fund relocation programs to move people to localities with a more diversified economy
I can`t see any solution to the problem
09 August 2010
What do you think stymies the development of international tourism into Russia?
visa-related bureaucracy, too protracted and costly
poor roads and transportation infrastructure in provincial Russia
poor service, too uninviting for Western tourists to accept
Russia`s negative image; foreigners are afraid of coming here
to my mind, international tourism into Russia grows at a good pace
02 August 2010
The RF President beefs up a nationwide campaign against bribes and kickbacks. Your opinion on how to ensure success:
Business owners should consciously refrain from bribing officials
Bribers must be banned from traveling abroad and having vacations there
Officials on the take should be sentenced to many years with confiscation of personal property
Bribe-takers should be jailed and property of their families confiscated
More surveillance cameras should be installed in government offices
Vain repetition of prior failures; bribery ever existed and won’t vanish
21 July 2010
Where do you think lies the future of Russia's auto sector?
In design and manufacture of Russia's own new cars
In licensed assembling of international brands (like Sollers)
In encouraging foreign auto makers to build plants here and employ Russians
No future; people will prefer imported cars
05 July 2010
Russia was hit hard during the most recent financial crisis, more than the other BRIC countries. You see the reason in:
The vastness of Russia’s territory and too many hard-to-reach areas
Low skills of economically active populations
Lack of gold and forex reserves
Too much spending on social issues
Infancy of Russia’s middle class
Dependence on commodities as the main source of budget revenue
I can’t say anything specific
20 June 2010
Business angels are a hot issue these days. They risk their own money on innovation start-ups that barely have a prototype of their products yet. What do you think of angel investors?
They yearn to see Russia's new innovation economy a reality
They once made easy money and now recklessly throw it around
Ones with an adventurist spirit relishing a big game of luck
I can't say anything specific
25 May 2010
What do you think of the prospects of Russia's 'Silicon valley' in Skolkovo, Moscow region?
Great idea, very timely
Bureaucracy likely to whittle the effort away
Weird to create it from the ground up with so many existing R&D centers across Russia
Creating something revolutionary rather than acting as a 'me-too' maker mimicking the West would be a better investment