How to Boost Russian Food Exports
The plenary session ‘Strategy of Russian Presence at Global Food Markets’ took place as part of HSE University’s XX April International Academic Conference, where participants discussed the prospects for Russian agricultural exports to Asia, as well as the use of nonconventional investment models, such as Islamic financial tools.
According to Alexey Ivanov, Director of the HSE — Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development, most countries follow traditional patterns of interaction based on the long-standing model of global trade. In this regard, the bigger players have the most to profit from trade, thus ‘forming a kind of oligopolistic structure on the global market’.
‘We can increase exports within these systems,’ Mr. Ivanov said, adding: ‘However, there are other approaches, which Russia can use to build long-term trade with consumers of its food products, primarily grain, in the countries of the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf.’
The populations in these regions are growing, while conditions for agriculture production are worsening, and, thus, the risks of hunger are increasing. Therefore, food security is becoming a priority in these countries and Russia can help to solve this issue, he noted.
At the same time, almost all of the countries in question are Muslim, and this should be given full attention. Sheikh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Vice Rector at Jamia Darul Uloom Karachi and Head of Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, Bahrain Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, U.A.E., commented on the some specifics of manufacturer-investor relations within the context of Islamic law.
In particular, he spoke about the concept of ‘salam,’ which can be used to finance small and medium-sized farms. Under this approach, farms immediately receive money for their products even if delivery does not take place for another six or seven months. At first glance, farmers may risk losing profits, since, at the moment of delivery, the market price on their production may have gone up. On the other hand, they receive guaranteed payment, whereby these funds can be invested in production development, without worries about whether they can sell their products in the next six months or not.
Furthermore, Madina Kalimullina, Senior Research Fellow at the HSE — Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development, spoke about how Russian agriculture could take advantage of Islamic financial tools to boost exports. She commented on the ‘sukuk salam’ approach, which foresees pre-paid food delivery. This approach could be important in the future. Furthermore, contracts for delivery can be securitized, whereby investors get security while paying for the right to obtain products in the future. Another use of ‘sukuk’ would include the creation of joint production-export projects, with shares that could be sold to potential investors.
From Moscow to Brazil, South Africa, and China: Panelists Discuss Challenges and Potential for BRICS Countries in the Global Economy
On May 14, as part of the ‘World Economy’ session of the XXI April Conference 2020 an online panel attended by representatives of BRICS Network University took place. The session was devoted to the topic ‘BRICS Countries in the Global Economy’.
In a recent report, HSE experts evaluated the world’s 14 countries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic based on data (including the number of recorded deaths) from May 1, 2020 or later. The report also examined 16 other countries whose experience was considered significant. While refraining from making generalizations, experts nonetheless noted that leaders in Europe and the United States have generally not responded to the situation as effectively as their Asian counterparts. Africa, meanwhile, follows its own course, while the situation in Brazil is worse.
The world’s modern food systems are going through a fundamentally new stage of technological development known as Agriculture 4.0. This digital approach relies on the use of robotechnics, the Internet of Things, biotechnologies, and other smart solutions. Is Russian agriculture ready for this transformation? What should be the government’s role in this process? These issues are the focus of the report, ‘Innovative Development of Russian Agricultural Industry. Agriculture 4.0».
April International Academic Conference is held in a distributed format this year, with some sessions broadcast online and papers and video presentations from others posted on the conference website. Professor Dr Ger Graus, first Global Director of Education at KidZania, is an invited speaker at Digital Transformation of Education session that is also conducted in this new distributed form. His paper is devoted to preparing children for digital era through non-formal education.
On April 7, 2020, the XXI April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development, organized by HSE University together with the World Bank, commenced. This year, the conference will be held in a distributed format.
‘The April Conference Will Not Only Confirm, But Strengthen Its Reputation as a Platform for Innovative Research’
Evgeny Yasin, HSE Academic Supervisor and Head of the Programme Committee of the XXI April Conference, addressed participants of the forum, which is being held in a distributed format this year.
Lev Jacobson, Deputy Head of the April Conference Programme Committee, explains the changes to the conference format.
The HSE Centre for Studies of Income and Living Standards studied the dynamics of the middle class and its behaviour with regard to paid services. The study was based on data drawn from the HSE Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE) for the years 2000 to 2017, and the results were presented at the 20th April International Academic Conference hosted by HSE.
Reproductive behavior is modernizing at different rates in post-Soviet countries. Things are changing faster in Russia, Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine, where, over the last fifteen years, the average maternity age has increased and the contribution of women in their thirties to their countries’ birthrates has grown. Meanwhile, old reproductive patterns persist in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, where firstborns are usually born to parents under 30, demographers Vladimir Kozlov and Konstantin Kazenin note in a paper delivered at HSE’s XX April International Academic Conference.
More than half of school graduates in medium-sized Russian cities will change their place of residence either forever or at least for a long time. According a report on internal migration presented by HSE demographers at the XX April International Academic Conference, these people are lost to their cities.