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SPIEF 2015: Tendencies and expectations

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This week the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, the biggest event in business life of Russia and its investors will take place. It is an annual gathering of influential Russian and international politicians and government officials, businessmen, representatives of academic community. The Forum aims to establish the framework for developing ties between politics and business on local and the international level. This is a place where business faces politics and all the challenges the nowadays complex international situation brings.

The First St. Petersburg Economic Forum was held in 1997 under the aegis of the Federation Council of Russia and the Inter-parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The next year St. Petersburg Forum changed into a permanent body with a view to developing entrepreneurship in Russia, strengthening relations with international trading partners and attracting foreign investments.

Within the next few years the Forum grew up from a conference focused on the CIS integration processes to a grand economic event encompassing a wide range of business development issues and drawing intense international attention. In 2007 the St. Petersburg Forum and the World Economic Forum signed the memorandum on participation of the WEF in the work of Forum. Many heads of states and other high officials attended the Forum, turning it into the event of a global scale. Political officials and businessmen sign here cooperation agreements and contracts worth millions of dollars.

The President and his Forum

In 2005 Vladimir Putin attended the SPIEF for the first time. Since then, unofficially called “presidential”, the Forum has transformed into a highly political event. The President became an excellent decoy for Russian and foreign political and economic elite. He is the official identity of the Forum. In his speeches and during round table discussions Putin more often considers international politics issues.

The atmosphere on the last year’s Forum was a perfect reflection of the tense relations between Russia and the West over the Ukrainian crisis. In particular, the economic sanctions, coming after the annexation of Crimea, were the main subjects to discuss. Putin claimed that so far the sanctions target just “his friends, the people from his inner circle” and aim to “punish them, nobody knows why”. He also took the opportunity to deny once again that the annexation of Crimea was planned and the presence of Russian military in the region.

Although, the St. Petersburg Economic Forum was a convenient framework for the foreign companies presented in Russia, the large companies decided to stay away from the risks and maintain their reputation. A number of big European and American companies boycotted the 2014 Forum. Among others, the representatives of Boeing, Goldman Sachs, Siemens, the Coca-Cola Company refused to come to St. Petersburg. Many companies reduced their representation in the event. The White House confirmed that the Administration of the U.S. President advised CEOs to ignore the Forum.

SPIEF – 2015: Tendencies and expectations

This year the Forum expects more than 5,000 of participants. “Recent changes require cohesive actions from the international community to ensure sustainable, long-term development”, President Putin says. He will hold a meeting with CEOs of big companies and corporations, and discuss new challenges for business with heads of investment funds.

When the United States and Europe have blocked off the way to the West to a number of Russian politicians and businessmen and frozen the assets of several companies, Russian business faced serious challenges – many large Russian companies face difficulties in attracting European and American investors, purchasing of military equipment and dual-use goods. Also, a number of transactions in the energy sector were banned. However, the US and European companies involved in the Russian market are doing better than expected, although their activities are still subject to risk. Russia has been living under the sanctions regime for a year already and the forthcoming Forum might be a useful platform for reflection on the future of Russian economics and business.

Due to the Russian politics in Ukraine, a number of participants has been reduced significantly. Nevertheless, the organizers of the Forum are confident: “Political confrontation does not affect serious business”. They are ready to welcome some large American and European companies soon. BCG and McKinsey & Company, Metro AG and TUI AG, Ernst & Young, Shell, BP, Societe Generale, Total, Schlumberger, Metro and Carlsberg are among them.

New reference point – Focus on Asia

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum may be devoted to finding new allies, experts say. Most likely, they will be found in the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America. This year, Russian companies are preparing to conclude preferential agreements on international trade with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS member states, as well as Turkey, Israel, South Korea, India and Peru. Also the possibility of establishing a free trade zone with ASEAN and further development of the Eurasian Customs Union are actively discussed.

Already last year the tendency to reorient the big Russian companies to Asia became visible. For instance, Gazprom has struck the biggest bargain in its history with the Chinese CNPC – a contract worth $ 400 billion for 30 years. This year more representatives of Chinese business are expected to attend the Forum. The Japanese Toyota also plans to expand its presence in Russia, although with a view to producing vehicles for Europe but not for Russian domestic market – as ruble has become weaker and the purchasing power of the population decreased.

Saint Petersburg to become a business capital for a few days

The Forum is a good opportunity to show the attractiveness of Saint Petersburg for Russian and foreign investors. The City Administration adopted the law which benefits investments in such areas as health care, education, culture and sport, science and innovation. The legal procedures for licensing of the future investors are being simplified as well.

St. Petersburg will present its investment projects in transport infrastructure, science and innovation, energy, culture and tourism. A large part of the exhibition will be devoted to the development of the Arctic zone. The city will present the information about the region and its involvement in the development of these strategic for Russia territories. The models of the newest equipment for exploitation of the oil fields will be showcased.

Without any doubts the Forum promises to be interesting. The confrontation between Russia and the West evolves – the White House claimed that the U.S. Authorities of any level will not be represented, while Alexis Tsipras, the Prime Minister of Greece, is expected at the Forum to discuss the “Greek question” with Vladimir Putin. The forthcoming Saint Petersburg Economic Forum will face the new challenges of today’s political situation. It will show the capacities of Russia’s economy to manage them.

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Moving BRICS Forward with the New Global Order

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Under auspices of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and China holding the 14th Summit, it provides the platform to address emerging global and thorny regional problems. The BRICS member countries collectively represent about 26% of the world’s geographic area and are home to 2.88 billion people, about 40% of the world’s population. 

What are the issues at stake: During the past two decades, new geopolitical confrontation as between democracy and authoritarianism, and unipolar and multipolar system, have partly appeared between the United States and Europe on one side and Russia and China on the other side. There other ccountries that are followers of the these distinctive groups. The group deeply dissatisfied about unipolar system and global hegemony throttled by the United States.

Despite the individual differences, BRICS members ultimately seek to consolidate its position, with a number of instruments at hand, in the development of the new global order and therefore have the following:

(i) Unified front and expansion of the group, demonstrate its effectiveness in addressing emerging tasks on regional and international stage. For instance in May, China suggested launching discussions of the issue that Argentina and Saudi Arabia had expressed interest in joining BRICS. 

According to experts, other potential candidates include Bangladesh, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay who joined the BRICS New Development Bank last year. In addition, analysts point out that events held on the sidelines of the BRICS foreign ministers meeting involved representatives of Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigerian and Thailand.

A number of countries are already on the list as potential new members. The final positions is that this geopolitical configuration is in exploratory phases, undoubtedly meant to bring a new axis of Russia-China but inclusion of Mexico , Indonesia and Turkey has its own strategic baggage. The procedures have to be thoroughly examined and reviewed, the dialogue is of importance to further expand BRICS.

(ii) The question of creating an international reserve currency based on a basket of currencies of the BRICS countries is being considered. In addition, the development of reliable alternative mechanisms for international settlements is being drawn up together with BRICS partners.

Russia’s financial messaging system is open for the connection of banks of the five countries. The geography of Russia’s Mir payment system is being expanded. The fact is that there are comprehensive measures directed at reducing the negative impact of sanctions and strengthening trade and investment ties with all interested states.

(iii) On fortifying the economic front is one key area for BRICS. Russia is feverishing cooperating with China and India. Trade among them has witnessed exponential growth, and Russia is set to make new legislations that could facilitate further, especially in the Central Asian region and within the Eurasian Union.

Closely relating to that Russia is advocating for expanding entrepreneurial freedoms, reducing administrative burdens, launching new preferential lending programs, and introducing tax and customs exemptions. While these aim at supporting Russia’s economy against raft of draconian sanctions, it would simultaneous help China, India and many Asia-Pacific countries that are ready to do mutual business with Russia.

Against these backdrop as briefly discussed above, BRICS can serve as an opportunity for the group to convince the world that it can be a viable financial option against Western-led institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Furthermore, combined together they possess a huge resources and only need to present a “clear-cut economic model” that ultimately be attractive and be replicated around the world. BRICS countries constitute 40 percent of the world’s population, and the group needs to engage in more interactive development processes especially the global south to get more clout as a serious global player.

China is holding the BRICS presidency in 2022. While strengthening economic, technological and scientific potential, the BRICS partners are ready to continue working on principles of respect to interests of each other, unconditional supremacy of international law, and equality of countries and peoples of the globalized world.

The 14th BRICS summit held in June, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa focused on the state of affairs and prospects of multifaceted cooperation within the group in the political, economic, cultural and humanitarian areas. The summit touched upon pressing international and regional issues and are reflected in the summit’s final declaration.

Since its establishment, the BRICS success could be described as moderate. The group has a combined population of 3.23 billion and their combined GDP is more than US$23 Trillion. Historically, the first meeting of the group began in St Petersburg in 2005. It was called RIC, which stood for Russia, India and China. Then, Brazil and subsequently South Africa joined later in February 2011, which is why now it is referred to as BRICS.

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What Differences Between the Garment Industry and Textile Industry?

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Women at work in a garment factory in Hai Phong, Viet Nam. © ILO

Human needs in this world cannot be separated from 3 basic needs, namely shelter, clothing and food. Clothing is one of the things that humans will always use from birth to the end of their life no matter rich or poor because everyone needs clothes during their life. The industrial sector that produces this clothing is the garment industry, the garment industry is a company engaged in the manufacture of apparel for men and women, for all ages from baby to adults. Product from garment examples such as underwear, shirts, jeans, t-shirts, jackets, blouses, etc. and usually these garment products are mass-produced with the same model. Characteristics of garments produced by garments are the models of clothing that are made usually have the same shape, garment clothing generally uses standard sizes (S, M, L, XL) or numbering (Fitinline, 2019). There are lots of garment factories in each country and usually the factory has chosen the targeted market segment according to the product production. However, there are still many obstacles that can occur in this garment industry. Among other things, the rapid changes in the garment industry so that innovation must be carried out every time because fashion is always evolving, causing this industry have to adapt to the trends that are popular with the community, as well as high competition due to the many existing garment factories so that characteristics and expertise are needed to survive. However, when a garment factory can produce products with brands that have strong characteristics, Models that are trendy and comfortable to wear, the brand can quickly become a favorite of the community and with the right promotion can build branches in several countries.

If the garment industry is an industry that focuses on apparel, then above the garment industry there is an industry that is wider in scope, namely the textile industry is one of the manufacturing industry sectors that produces starting from raw materials to become materials that have a selling value such as yarn, cloth, and finished products made from textiles. The textile industry is very large because it consists of several materials. There are natural materials such as silk, wool, and cotton. And there are also synthetic materials, namely polyester, polypropylene, nylon. As for the process of making yarn into fabric, there are 3 types, namely woven, knitted and nonwoven. Woven itself is a fabric making technique that has the principle of combining threads lengthwise and transversely or making patterns that cross each other, while knitted fabrics are fabrics made with the principle of entangling threads that are intertwined with each other to form a circle or arch so that the threads can relate to each other. Then nonwoven is a fabric that is made without going through the woven and knitting process but with a special nonwoven machine. Fabrics made with different techniques have different purposes and functions depending on the use and purpose of use.

By seeing the importance of textiles in everyday life and because textiles are an industry that will always be needed, it is not surprising that the demand for textiles is always increasing from time to time. So that countries that have large textile production can make textiles one of the economic sources for state income. Here are 3 countries with the largest textile production in the world:

China

It’s not new anymore if China dominates the global textile market because this country is able to have an output reaching 52.2% of global textile production in 2019. Several factors that support China to become a giant ruling textile industry are due to low production costs, technological advances that as well as, considerable supply of raw materials. These things make China the largest textile producing country in the world. In addition to being the largest textile producer, China is also the country that exports the highest textiles. From Statista data, in 2020 China was the top global textile exporter with a value of around USD 154 billion. This figure of China’s exports is almost 43.5% of the total textile export market worldwide (Inda Susanti, 2022).

India

India occupies the second position as the largest textile producing country in the world, textile is one of the oldest industries in India and the development of this industry is always increasing from time to time. In India there is a division into 2 sectors. The first sector is an unorganized sector that still uses human labor and simple tools. Then the second sector is an organized sector, namely a sector that is more modern because it uses combined techniques and machines. India’s textile industry is estimated to be worth USD250 billion in 2019. According to the IBEF report, India’s State textile industry accounted for 7% of industrial output in 2018/2019. It contributes 2% to India’s GDP and employs more than 45 million people in 2018/2019 (Inda Susanti, 2022).

United States of America (USA)

America is in the 3rd position with the largest textile production. America managed to account for 5.3% of the output of global textile production in 2019. The biggest strength of textiles from the United States of America comes from the production of nonwoven fabrics, medical textiles and protective clothing. By combining advanced technology and innovation, the United States continues to grow with textile production increasing every year. Citing data from the US National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), the total value of shipments of US-made fibers and filaments, textiles and apparel amounted to approximately USD76.8 billion in 2018, up from USD73 billion in output in 2017 (Inda Susanti, 2022).

It is estimated that the demand for textiles in the future will continue to increase with the development of technology, there will be many new innovations that can be useful for human life. Especially in the garment and textile industry sector. As one of the basic human needs, it is estimated that the industry will remain stable and continue to increase, although sometimes there will be a decline but will return to a stable position. So literally the garment industry is part of the textile industry as well. However, the garment industry has a main focus on making apparel. Meanwhile, the textile industry has a wider scope because it processes from raw materials into finished materials that are ready to be reprocessed or can be sold directly without being reprocessed.

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The New Masters of the New Big Economy

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business-economy

There is only one “Big Economy” within each nation; a unique economic development process harnessed around the assembly of small and medium businesses spread across any given nation. Nevertheless, mastery to lead the “Big Economy” requires big minds; so long, the small-minds only see small business as small; failing to recognize that all big businesses of the world only hatched as small babies in the past. Later, after many diaper changes SME grew into giants. This is normal in the life of a business cycle for any entrepreneurially fertile business minded landscapes.

Let there be light: Nevertheless, as a simple fact, like turning an ‘on’ and ‘off’ light switch; economies without digitization are as if without electricity, without upskilled frontline teams on tasks as if without a bulb. The Mindset Hypotheses openly challenges the visible damages to economic developments across the free world equally as monitor to growth the sooner tested across SME regions the faster the turnaround. 

Fake entrepreneurialism: Unfortunately, the lack of mastery of the Big Economy is a big issue. Academia is always uncomfortable with SME, job creator entrepreneurial mindsets, for being too much out of the box rule breaker, while nestled in their own Ivey covered moist edifices feel cozy with their own job-seeker mindsets while claiming expertise on some fake entrepreneurialism of sorts. Issuing papers as wall hanging and passing judgments on entrepreneurial journeys, without once creating a single SME.  Entrepreneurialism is not a degree; it is a state of mind. A quick live debate will prove all this, hence the deep silence.

Is China showing mastery in harnessing its big economy of SME? Observe across the world how much powers acquired by optimizing their SME sectors, upskilling of exporters, reskilling of manufacturers and quadrupling exportability. Now, compare this to the openly visible abuse and abundance of the SME within the free economies of the world, critically damaging levels of skills and leaving national citizenry behind in the races of global age competitiveness now in post pandemic revival left almost in salvage states.

Five Big Myths of Economic Development Debunked:

The political syndrome: politics is not creating the economical answer, as an overview, observe the art of the politics; reflected in their national leaderships of their free economies and their election wizardry all now almost gone to the dogs. Observe the chaos, nation by nation. Notice the salvage operations and runaway elections, watch the language, the populist narratives and pre-anarchy landscapes. Political power is about creating economic powers or else.

National mobilization of entrepreneurialism will save nations: The current global level rhetoric at global institutions already mandated to foster economic growth, mostly going in circles and lip servicing, geo-econo-socio-politico issues with visible absence of real concrete workable solutions. Such verbiage, followed by thousands of trade groups and chambers all joining the same chorus lines and echoing the same rhetoric visible on social media by the hours but critically lacking any hard core national mobilization programs. Of course, it takes special mindsets for special challenges, like airlines flown by trained pilots and not by frequent flyers. Acquire mastery on mobilization methodologies… why large number mobilization requirements are a mystery and why not just regular class size do?

The economic crisis fabrication:  The challenge is “economy” and nothing else but economy. Here observe the assembly of casual, randomly picked expertise at play in managing the most complex and difficult puzzles of survival of humankind, the local grassroots prosperity. Notice, the majority of national crises, from economy, jobs, immigrations, crime, and education, housing or health all related to local grassroots prosperity.

What level of high schooling is required to decipher such puzzles? What we have, nation-by-nation, like some paintings- by-the-number to create masterpieces for the history of the economic museum. So what is wrong? Why is the big economy so neglected, why SME sectors are fragmented and buried under bureaucracies, red-tapes and old mentality trade groups and chambers lingering like left over burden declared some abstract  SME with no future, all due to lack of job creator entrepreneurial mindsets. Absence of mastery on economic development now openly visible

Economy is not about numbers rather entrepreneurialism

The number syndrome:  A calculator from a ‘dollar store’ is often sufficient as the Economy of the past is in numbers, but the economy of the future is all about entrepreneurialism. Growth is a by-product of job creator entrepreneurial mindset. Psychologist and HR both are allowed to break-up the furniture infinitum on this, but unless the mindset hypotheses is smashed, job seekers will build the organizations and job creators will create that organization in the first place; the visible damage to our economic development widespread across the free economies of the world as failure. Find answers fast

The error of mind: The term “SME” is a grave error, a misnomer created by job seeker mindset, as there is nothing small about a baby elephant. It will become an elephant in time. It is all about creating a big new company, active within a big economy of million small medium large businesses within a nation. However, such tasks must break away from the current economic development models serving selected interests, brutal toward SME treating them as small and of lesser value, unable to decipher the hidden powers of risky new business models. Mandatory study of 1000 earth-shattering entrepreneurs is necessary to avoid mistakes about the large national SME sectors treated as leftovers and spillovers from the undesired job creator mindsets. Close study and testing will prove the lingering harsh realities.

The big loss of a nation: The biggest loss to any nation is the wasteland of the ‘job creator entrepreneurial mindsets’ abandoned across the nation as lingering SME as undecipherable journeys of businesses for the formally attired degree holders as tall towers occupants of the job seekers mindsets. Lack of knowledge on properly structured Digitization, Mobilization, Exportization and global age immersion of new trades of micro exports, micro manufacturing and global competitiveness. Provided such progress led by entrepreneurial mindsets.

Throw away Teleprompters: as lip service on SME all but dried out, the only fact remains, that the SME economy by far the “Big Economy” in search of big minds, ignorance on small business fertility is a harsh lesson of today. Today, the art and science now hidden in balancing both, the job seeker and job creator mindsets to mobilize entrepreneurialism and create economic growth. Seek out authoritative dialogues and create bold open debates

The unpredictability of elections: Tragically, the cryptopia mentality stripped naked the unskilled citizenry of most free economies. Rather than creating internal Skill-Wars to create upskilling and reskilling, the leadership chose to declare Forever-Fake-Wars so their nations learn slowly to dig their own graves as metaverse therapy. Now in need of diaper change the next rounds of elections will sort out the ongoing damages. Prepare for mega change

Check the profiles on LinkedIn: Today, openly visible, across the world, on LinkedIn profiles, the Job seeker mindsets now freely running the economic development progress of the free economies of the world. What is most damaging is the absence of a job creator entrepreneurial mindset creating input and global age narratives on national mobilization of entrepreneurialism.

Absence of such mastery is visibly sinking the experimental economic development in a big way. A quick test will prove such imbalances but this requires entrepreneurial leadership to tackle such timely challenges, otherwise all failed to collect dust as some long undecipherable academic study. For authoritative analysis and special workshops on acquiring mastery on such topics, study more on Google.  

Big minds urgently required; Big minds needed to deal with big economies, based on global collaboration, diversity and tolerance, as rest is crypto-tyrannies. Creating real value economic power is the ultimate leadership goal to lead a sovereign nation, as the rest is fakery. Without a big economy, get ready for the big bust; Study the origin and history of business, the art of value creation to allow differentiation to eliminate the value manipulation. The rest is easy. 

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