Head of ASI welcomes British business community to cooperation in eco-tourism and urban development technologies

: Tatyana Masterova | ASI Press service

During Russian-British Business Forum held in London on November 27, General Director of Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) Svetlana Chupsheva invited businesses from the United Kingdom to discuss the prospects of cooperation and organization of joint ventures with Russian tech companies, take part in the development and application of turnkey open-source solutions for smart cities, as well as to evaluate the business environment for the development of eco-tourism.

During the panel session, which was dedicated to international business priorities of the countries, the Head of ASI remarked upon the interest of the Russian tech business community in cooperation with British partners.

“These businesses shape new markets of the digital economy and create new technological possibilities for the economy. This year, we have launched targeted selection programs to bring to light these high-tech industrial solutions. We are prepared to act as the platform for cooperation between large, medium and small-sized business of the United Kingdom with Russian tech companies to enter export markets and create new businesses, new joint ventures,” stated Svetlana Chupsheva.

She also related about the Russian Smarteka Platform intended to promote sharing of best practices by the country's regions, development institutions and companies. The Platform is planned to be launched on December 15, 2019.

“British companies will also have a chance to contribute their solutions and practices to be available for implementation by Russian participants and stakeholders. We hope that this will also create a sort of synergy and promote cooperation in many areas,” said Svetlana Chupsheva.

According to her, Russia is ready for cooperation under projects based on data handling; the country already has proven experience in this domain.

In 2019, ASI has organized, in cooperation with the Ministry for Digital Development and the Ministry for Economic Development, the training for about 5,000 representatives of regional managerial teams in the competencies of a CDO (Chief Data Officer).

“We have accumulated a considerable pool of businesses and experts, who have prior experience in the development of open-source regional economy management solutions (in particular, poverty forecasting solutions). This is intended to tackle the problem of launching smart city solutions. Here, too, we see opportunities for cooperation. We are eager to see, what solutions British companies can offer to our regions and cities today to make them more efficient. Some of the solutions that are even now being implemented in our cities are groundbreaking. In certain aspects we are quite competitive globally, and we are ready to share these practices,” highlighted Svetlana Chupsheva.

Certain other prospective business niches are being opened in Russia. The Head of ASI believes eco-tourism to be one of such potentially lucrative domains that are yet inadequately developed by investors.

“We create new possibilities not only in technologically advanced industries. Russia ranks the first in designated natural areas, national parks, however these are unfortunately not used effectively. As an example, the USA invests more than 10% of its GNP into this market while this indicator is below 1% in Russia. During the current year, we have, in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Natural Resources, developed operational standards and conditions in the domain of eco-tourism, as well as rules for small and medium businesses to operate in national parks. I believe that this may be of interest to our British partners,” said Svetlana Chupsheva.

Russia is prepared to compete for the leading position in the ease of doing business.

Despite the considerable improvement of position of the Russian Federation in the World Banks’ Doing Business rating (from 120th position in 2012 to 28th in 2019), neither the leadership of the country nor its business community is satisfied with the current state of investment climate. According to Svetlana Chupsheva, Russia strives to create the most comfortable environment for doing business in the world.

“We will not stop at top 30, that is for sure. I am convinced that we will be leading in many areas. New niches spring up that shape the demand for new judicial practices, new rules and new standards. Whoever makes these new rules, wins. In this respect, we are prepared to develop these global rules together with the British business community. We wish to be the winners, together with the United Kingdom,” said the Head of ASI.

To tackle this problem, Russia will have to reform its system of business-related services thoroughly.

“We are in the position, which would allow us to completely reshape the logic of business-related services. Today, many speakers discussed digitalization and transition to the electronic form of providing services to the public and entrepreneurs. In respect of construction systems, we are leaning towards BIM (Building Information Modeling) technologies; we plan to abandon the system of construction permits and project review altogether, in the end, expert review shall be effected throughout project execution cycle,” clarified Svetlana Chupsheva.