Kazan to host Russia’s first business forum after lockdown

Jonathan Wilson, Marat Khusnullin and tens of other speakers will gather at a big two-week business forum

Kazan is going to host the first international business forum in Russia’s history after the lockdown in late August. And President of the country Vladimir Putin whose visit to Tatarstan is expected at that moment will probably personally open it. 100% Tatarstan business forum will be launched online on the day of the 100th jubilee of the republic — on 30 August. After the cancellation of almost all big economic events in the last six months — from the Petersburg and Sochi to Krasnoyarsk and Eastern forums — the Tatarstan two-week round with a hundred speakers will become the first site for communication between businesses and authorities. Sustainable economy, biotechnologies, active population and youth politics with their application in the republic itself are the key themes. Moreover, hundreds of speakers are already shooting their master classes, while the organisers in the person of the Tatarstan Investment Development Agency promises to invite international experts during the forum online, including via Zoom.

How COVID-19 frustrates tens of forums in the country

100% Tatarstan forum or intellectual business space will open on the Republic Day and, in fact, become Russia’s first business event on such a scale after the lockdown (and one of the first in the world).

Late last year Realnoe Vremya published the timetable of key business events in 2020. And according to it, this spring was going to have National Oil and Gas Forum in Moscow (put off until 2021), Russian Venture Forum (postponed, no data available), Russian International Energy Forum (postponed until October 2020), Beer 2020 International Forum (put off until late October 2020).

The 3rd Stolypin Forum, which was going to be in May, was postponed until early September. The Petersburg Economic Forum was cancelled in general as well as Eastern Economic Forum (the latter was still planned to be held in September but was cancelled after all). Both Russian Investment Forum in Sochi and Yalta International Economic Forum whose organising committee was chaired Marat Khusnullin (he, by the way, is invited to 100% Tatarstan) fell victims to the coronavirus.

The 1st All-Russian Forum of National Projects, which was scheduled for 9-11 April 2020 in Kazan and Innopolis, was postponed from April to early October.

The 1st All-Russian Forum of National Projects, which was scheduled for 9-11 April 2020 in Kazan and Innopolis, was postponed from April to early October. Photo: Maksim Platonov

What 100% Tatarstan speakers will talk about

Vladimir Putin is expected to come to Kazan to the republic’s birthday, on 30 August. The Russian president is meant to personally open 100% Tatarstan forum. There will be 21 areas in total from Engaged Leader to History of Territories.

Apart from habitual discussions and speeches on investments and entrepreneurship, tourism, the IT industry, agriculture and youth politics, there will be tabled issues of circular economy, biotechnologies, active population.

The circular economy is a relatively new term that has been used since 2015. In the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the UN saw the dire need to change the old traditional model of the world economy operating to “take, make, dispose” for a completely new sustainable model — the circular economy. In general it describes the economy based on the renewal of resources, which must be an alternative to the traditional linear economy in the end (take, make, dispose).

The introduction of such an economy in Russia alone where no more than 10% of solid waste is recycled can provide a 12-15% rise in GDP. China adopted legislation to promote the circular economy, South Korea adopted the analogous Green Growth Strategy, Japan has a society of correct financial cycle.

Jonathan Wilson, Marat Khusnullin, Mintimer Shaimiyev — who will come to the forum

Some days of the forum will be themed, for instance, 8 September will be dedicated to the republic’s agro-industrial sector.

During discussions, it will be said about agricultural biotechnologies, big agricultural enterprises, there will be online tours to agrarian universities and “the investment potential of the agro-industrial sector will be realised”.

According to a project of the forum’s programme Realnoe Vremya was provided with, Tatarstan Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Forum with Tatneft CEO Nail Maganov will open on 2 September, and the day will be dedicated to topical problems of the oil and gas industry. 3 September will be about IT, Tatarstan Minister of Digital Development Ayrat Khayrullin and Vice Premier Roman Shaykhutdinov will participate in discussions. 4 September will be dedicated to successes and problems of education in the republic, Tatarstan State Adviser Mintimer Shaimiyev will be a speaker. He will tell the audience about multilingual schools in the multicultural world. The next days will be about culture, medicine, finance and other topics.

About a hundred speakers will give a speech at the forum, 13 of them have already confirmed their participation. Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, First President and the republic’s State Adviser Mintimer Shaimiyev, former and current representatives of the Russian and republican public administration, including Russian Vice Premier Marat Khusnullin, First Vice Minister of Construction of Russia Irel Fayzullin, Tatarstan Premier Minister Aleksey Pesoshin, diplomatic representatives from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and executives of the biggest Tatarstan companies, particularly Tatneft CEO Nail Maganov, Director General of KAMAZ Sergey Kogogin, Board Chairman of Ak Bars Bank Zufar Garayev are among them.

An author of books and a consultant specialising in advertising and branding, corporate culture and digital technologies Jonathan Wilson has confirmed his participation among foreign experts.

About a hundred speakers will give a speech at the forum, 13 of them have already confirmed their participation. Mintimer Shaimiyev is among them. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Speakers to record master classes or give a speech on Zoom

The intellectual business space will run for two weeks (from 30 August to 10 September). Participants will be able to discuss key topics of further strategic development of Tatarstan on three stages.

Communication will have different formats: traditional panel discussions, lives of opinion leaders, interviews and master classes, previews of strategic economic initiatives. But they will be fully available online as well as performances of invited culture and sports stars.

As Realnoe Vremya was said in the Tatarstan Investment Development Agency, some speakers and experts are already shooting videos in studios, while the videos with their performances will be published later. International experts who can’t fly to Russia for obvious reasons will join online on Zoom during the forum.

“Some content is prepared in advance,” explained head of the PR Department in the TIDA Yekaterina Sokirko. “Some speakers will be online.”

“Everything will take place on a separate website, https://100tatarstan.com/, there will be a chat where one can ask questions, while speakers [who shot videos or gave a speech online] will answer them. As for international speakers, some of them will answer them on Zoom,” said Sokirko.

“100% Tatarstan will become the first forum after the long-term lockdown”

The organisers of the event promise 300 hours of content and over 300 sessions in three languages (Russian, Tatar, English).

Participants in the forum from all over the world will join the work of the resource regardless of their place of residence and type of activity, while the uninterrupted daily work of the online studio will allow asking experts questions and get answers quickly online.

As President of the republic Rustam Minnikhanov noted as early as last week when announcing the forum 100% Tatarstan, the event caused by the necessity of “non-standard approaches to establishing relationships with partners” must, in fact, “open the borders that are closed today”. The TIDA itself also notes that “most events in 2020 were cancelled or went online”, as the world post-coronavirus situation “dictates new formats of work”. The creation of the online platform in key areas of development is to help achieve a “synergic effect from all online events of the republic”.

By Sergey Afanasyev