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‘There are a Lot of Opportunities to Make New Contacts’

On the second day of the conference, some of the participants shared their views and impressions in short interviews for the HSE news service.

Yannis S. Katsoulacos, Professor, Chairman, Department of Economic Science, Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece:  ‘This Conference Provides a Very Good Forum’

— What working paper are you going to present at the April conference?

— I am going to present my work on competition policy, which is an important area of economics.  It has become important in Europe in the last 15-20 years because many network sectors have become liberalized. So you need to have a strong competition policy. I am going to focus on the impact of legal uncertainty on the enterprise action and investment.

— How would you compare the Greek economy with the economies of other regions in Europe?

— In the area I work in, Greece is very similar to the rest of Europe. Competition policies started about 20 years ago, so this is now a very mature and sophisticated sector. We have a lot of serious problems concerning macroeconomics in Greece, but that’s another story.

— What cooperation plans do you have with the HSE?

— We are going to develop our partnership through joint research with the HSE on competition and regulation.  We hope to establish exchange programmes between our university and the HSE.  We would like to see researchers from the HSE at our annual conference on competition policy, which we organize in Greece every July.  Hopefully our colleagues from the Higher School of Economics will be able to come with some officials from the Competition Committee.

I see my first visit to Moscow and participation in the April conference as the start of a long partnership between our universities. Participating in this conference provides food for thought and a better understanding of Russia’s economy than just reading about it in newspapers. The conference provides a very useful forum for this.


Michael Derrer, Research Lecturer in the Institute of Management and Regional Economics at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland: ‘I am Interested in the Further Development of Russia’

— Why did you decide to participate in the XIV HSE April International Aca­demic Conference on Economic and Social Development?

— I can speak Russian; I have been involved in research and business in and with Russia for about 20 years.  Russia never develops as you think it will and I am interested in the future development of Russia. There are many issues that had to be overcome in order to move the economy forward. There have been several interesting areas of discussion already, such as ‘the human factor’ mentioned by the minister, Mikhail Abyzov. This ‘human factor’ may play a critical role in future economic development. Development will reach a ceiling with no further progress if certain issues cannot be overcome.

— What issues do you mean?

— The social structure can provide a hurdle to further development. It’s not about monetary policy. It is social relations and the social structure that will decide further development. My personal area of interest is the issue of corruption and I am planning to discuss it with researchers from the HSE who are studying this topic.

— You mentioned your business relationship with Russia. What is it?

— I conducted a know-how programme on consulting. I started a company which provides Swiss consultants to different enterprises across Russia and the former Soviet Republics. We cooperate with universities, schools and businesses.  At the same time I have been expanding knowledge about Russia outside of Russia providing consulting and advice to those Swiss business people who would like to work with Russian companies. I deliver lectures and describe the differences between Russia and Switzerland, helping to explain the different business culture etc. to entrepreneurs before they start doing business. 


Dr. Peter Diem, Austria: ‘There are a Lot of Opportunities to Make New Contacts’

— Dr. Diem, you’ve been working in media research, especially TV research, for a few decades now. What attracted you in the April conference agenda?

— I have been conducting audience research and people meter research for Austrian TV for twenty years.  More recently I have I started carrying out qualitative and quantitative market research using the internet, where I use group discussions, online conferences and other modern techniques. So, I am here with my working paper on online research on media. I hope it will add to the discussion on communication, which is part of the agenda of the conference. I am going to share my findings on how to conduct better research for print, TV, radio and internet mass media online. Russia internet usage has developed incredibly fast and this provides a lot of opportunities for online research of different issues.

— What do you think of the theory of cultural pessimism which says the internet will force out and replace all other mass media, including theatre and cinema?

— In the Middle Ages, when the printing press was invented, priests spoke out, saying that ‘Print will kill our preaching’. That pessimism isn’t justified as every media has its own special role. It’s not feasible for me that radios in the car, or TV, will lose their function. The internet hasn’t killed these and it hasn’t killed the movies.  The movies have their own special place in our culture. Also I am convinced that the morning paper will not lose its place.

— What’s your impression of the conference?

— The conference is very well organized. There are a lot of opportunities to make new contacts. It’s interesting that most of participants are not from Western Europe but from the rest of Europe and the former Soviet Union.

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