Thousands of Canadians to tackle plastic pollution across the country

Governance, World

Around the world, people and companies throw away more than $100 billion worth of plastic packaging each year. Plastic waste and marine litter, including microplastics, pose a serious threat to the health of our ecosystems, wildlife and economies.

In fact, 8 million tonnes of plastic flow into our oceans every year—the equivalent of one garbage truck full of plastic being dumped into our oceans every minute. This reality is alarming.

Keeping all of our waters and shorelines clean of debris is important for a healthy environment for Canadians, today and tomorrow. This is why the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, travelled across Canada this summer to encourage Canadians to beat plastic pollution. Now she is launching the Community Cleanup, a call for Canadians to clean up plastics from their local shorelines, parks and neighbourhoods.

The Community Cleanup will start on September 8. Canadians are encouraged to connect with their local MPs to organize community plastic cleanups. Throughout the week, schools, businesses and citizens can organize their own cleanups. On September 15—International Coastal Cleanup Day and World Cleanup Day—there will be three major events, in VancouverToronto and Halifax, through the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, supported by the Government of Canada. People from around the world will come together to collect and document the trash on shorelines. You can join or lead a cleanup, on your own or through the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, anytime and anywhere in Canada. It is important to register with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to contribute to global and Canadian data by recording what you find.

Halifax will also be the location of this year’s G7 Environment, Energy and Oceans Ministers Meeting, on September 19 to 21. The Canada-led Ocean Plastics Charter was signed during the G7 leaders summit in Charlevoix, where international partners committed to removing debris from coasts and shorelines. Canada is determined to lead in this effort. And together, we can eliminate plastic waste and reduce marine litter in our own country and around the world.

“Our lakes, rivers, oceans and waterways are a big part of Canada’s natural legacy. And it’s important that we protect these spaces from the growing plastic-pollution problem. On September 8, I encourage Canadians across the country to do their part and take action in their communities,” says Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

 

Quick facts

  • Throughout 2018, Canada has served as president of the G7, a group of the world’s largest advanced economies.
  • About half of all the plastics ever manufactured were made since 2000. The global production of plastics has been faster than most man-made materials.
  • As of 2015, about 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste have been generated globally, with about 79 per cent of that amount ending up in landfills or the environment.
  • Only about 11 per cent of plastics are recycled in Canada. In 2010, Canada released into the oceans from land 8000 tonnes of plastic—the weight of 75 blue whales.
  • Over 90 per cent of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs.

Canada’s Corporate Tax Cut Success: A Lesson for Americans

Business, Governance

In December 2017, President Donald Trump cut corporate tax rates from 35% to 21%, effective immediately. While certain critics quickly lamented this policy decision, the President is currently mulling a second round of tax cuts. In this context, the Canadian experience with corporate tax reduction provides a useful comparison, shows a new study released today by the Montreal Economic Institute.

Between 2001 and 2012, successive Canadian governments of varying political stripes systematically reduced the corporate tax rate, which went from 28% in 2000 to 15% in 2012. The government also modified capital cost allowances and either harmonized or phased out other taxes affecting capital during this period.

The study, co-authored by Mathieu Bédard, economist at the Montreal Economic Institute, and Adam Michel, policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, shows that the tax cuts had widespread beneficial effects.

While Canada’s corporate tax rate was virtually halved, government revenues remained fairly constant between 3% and 4% after an initial dot-com bubble-induced drop in 2001. “The notion that a major corporate tax rate reduction automatically leads to shrinking government revenues has been completely discredited by the Canadian experience,” notes Mathieu Bédard.

As pointed out by American economist Arthur Laffer in the context of the 1980s Reagan tax cuts, high tax rates can discourage economic activity which, in turn, means less corporate income to tax. “Investors increasingly shop all around the world for promising projects, and high corporate taxes can push both foreign and domestic investors to look abroad,” explains Adam Michel.

If corporate income tax reduction had broad bipartisan support in Canada, it is because it was widely understood that although corporations remit the tax, workers pay a large share of it. “Workers have everything to gain from corporate tax cuts,” says Mathieu Bédard.

The evolution of Canadian wages show that they increased faster between 2001 and 2012 than they had in the previous decade or than wages did in other industrialized countries during the same period. In fact, industrial sectors such as construction, finance, and some service industries experienced real wage growth ranging from 9.8% to 15.8%.

The Canadian experience shows that corporate tax reform can be a tremendous success and help grow the economy and hike wages for workers. There is every reason to believe that American workers, businesses, and the federal government will reap similar benefits from the recent corporate tax cuts.

The Economic Note entitled “Canada’s Corporate Tax Cut Success: A Lesson for Americans” was prepared by Mathieu Bédard and Adam Michel, respectively economist at the MEI and policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation. This publication is available on our website.

Canada’s brightest minds collaborate on bold ideas for a better future

Governance

Government of Canada invests more than $78 million to create jobs and training for Canada’s scientists and engineers

 

With bright people and collaboration, bold ideas can be realized. When researchers, companies and other partners work together, they create jobs, support hands-on training and develop technologies and services to benefit all Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced funding of more than $78 million to recipients of the Strategic Partnership Grants (SPG) for Networks and Projects, supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Funding will go to six networks and 80 projects from across the country.

This investment will bring together and support some of Canada’s brightest researchers to address challenges in areas including environment and agriculture, information and communications technologies, natural resources and energy, and advanced manufacturing.

Minister Duncan made the announcement during a visit to Promation, an industrial partner with the University of Waterloo, and member of the Network for Holistic Innovation in Additive Manufacturing, one of the six networks that received funding today. This network brings together leading researchers in Canada and abroad, government, and aerospace and automotive industry players to accelerate the use of 3D printing in Canada’s manufacturing sector.

With the global market for 3D printing expected to grow fivefold by 2020, this is an important investment in Canada’s innovation economy which will boost our competitiveness, and prepare our workers for the jobs of tomorrow.

Quotes
“I commend today’s recipients for the important work they are doing to contribute to Canada’s competitiveness. We are investing in you today because we know that when we invest in science and research we are investing in Canadians. The bold ideas your innovative partnerships will generate will have an important impact on our economy, creating good jobs and unique training opportunities for scientists and engineers here in Oakville and across the country.”
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“Congratulations to all recipients and their partners. NSERC is proud of its role in convening Canada’s top scientists and engineers with a wealth of partners from industry, government and other organizations. These fruitful collaborations are a testament to the power of great minds and expertise coming together to tackle challenges in targeted areas where Canada can be a world leader.”
– Dr. Marc Fortin, Vice-President, Research Partnerships, NSERC

“This investment will enable the team led by the University of Waterloo to increase our collaborations and partnerships with industry in Canada and abroad to help ensure that our country plays a major role in integrating the transformative impacts of Additive Manufacturing globally, thereby securing Canada’s leadership in the realization of Industry 4.0.”
– Dr. Ehsan Toyserkani, Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo

“Innovation and R&D has always been the basis of Promation’s historical growth and will certainly drive our future. Federal programs like the Strategic Partnership Grants will help Canadian industry to leapfrog into the future with support for Advanced Manufacturing technologies and the highly skilled people required to develop and use them effectively.”
– Mark Zimny, Chief Executive Officer, Promation

Quick facts

  • The total funding for the six networks is $33 million and the total funding for the 80 projects is just over $45 million.
  • NSERC conducts extensive evaluations to ensure that these projects remain relevant for Canada. An extensive network of peer reviewers meets annually to select the winners for each competition.

Associated Links

Communities in New Brunswick to benefit from improved water and wastewater infrastructure

Governance, Health

The governments of Canada and New Brunswick are investing in local infrastructure that ensures Canadians and their families have access to modern, reliable water and wastewater services that meet their needs. These investments safeguard the health and well-being of residents, protect waterways and preserve local ecosystems.

René Arseneault, Member of Parliament for Madawaska–Restigouche, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and the Honourable Gilles LePage, Minister of Labour, Employment and Population Growth, today announced more than $3 million in funding for three water and wastewater infrastructure projects for the Town of Dalhousie, the Village of Kedgwick and the Town of Saint-Quentin.

The Government of Canada is contributing more than $1.5 million to these projects through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund and the Government of New Brunswickis providing more than $750,000. The communities are responsible for the remainder of the project costs.

Thanks to this investment, residents in Dalhousie will benefit from improved water and wastewater services. This project involves the separation and renewal of the combined sanitary and storm sewer located along Adelaïde Street, from Brunswick Street to Renfrew Street. In addition, two clean water improvement projects will soon be underway in Kedgwick and Saint-Quentin, which will see the replacement of drinking water, wastewater, sewage and stormwater sewers. Projects like these will keep the waterways in New Brunswick clean and the communities healthy for years to come.

This investment is part of an agreement between Canada and New Brunswick for clean water and wastewater.

Quotes

“By investing in modern and efficient water and wastewater infrastructure, the Government of Canada is supporting Canada’s ongoing transition to a clean, sustainable growth economy and creating well-paying middle class jobs. The improvements to water infrastructure in DalhousieKedgwick, and Saint-Quentin will ensure residents continue to have access to safe drinking water while protecting the local environment.”

René Arseneault, Member of Parliament for MadawaskaRestigouche, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“The Government of New Brunswick recognizes the importance of investing in essential services like clean drinking water and reliable wastewater services. These investments will have a lasting positive impact on the quality of life for New Brunswickers, as well as contribute to economic growth, a clean environment and stronger communities.”

The Honourable Gilles LePage, Minister of Labour, Employment and Population Growth, on behalf of the Honourable Andrew Harvey, Minister of Environment and Local Government

“This investment will go a long way helping our citizens have a better quality of life. We are thankful to both the provincial and federal governments in joining hands with us to make this happen.”

His worship Normand Pelletier, Mayor of Dalhousie

Quick facts

  • For the Adelaïde Street Sewer Separation and Watermain Renewal project in Dalhousie, the Government of Canada is contributing $274,792. The Government of New Brunswick and the Town of Dalhousie are each contributing $137,396.
  • For the Infrastructure Improvement Monseigneur Martin Street West project in Saint-Quentin, the Government of Canada is contributing $528,409. The Government of New Brunswick and the Town of Saint-Quentin are each contributing $264,204.
  • For the Rehabilitation and Infrastructure Update Project in Kedgwick, the Government of Canada is contributing $704,772. The Government of New Brunswick and the Village of Kedgwick are each contributing $352,386.
  • The Government of Canada will invest more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
  • $26.9 billion of this funding will support green infrastructure projects, including $5 billion that will be available for investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

South Africa: Restoring Confidence to Oil the Wheels for Growth

Governance, World

It’s been almost 25 years since the end of apartheid, the system of institutionalized racial segregation that left most South Africans with limited access to basic services. The post-apartheid years saw remarkable progress in terms of poverty reduction, access to education, and reducing unemployment. But some of those early achievements have unwound recently amid slow growth and political uncertainty.

The IMF’s latest assessment of South Africa’s economy projects real GDP growth will stay slightly below 2 percent in the medium term, not enough to increase living standards or make a dent in unemployment.

Ana Lucía Coronel, who heads the IMF team for South Africa, sat down with IMF Country Focus to talk about some of the issues the economy is facing.

The word “confidence” is found throughout this report. Why is there such a lack of confidence in so many sectors, and what has been the impact on the economy?

The word confidence is very important for economic analysis because it refers to the variety of beliefs that economic agents have about the environment that surrounds them. Consumer confidence refers to households’ expectations of how likely it is they’ll find a job and what their income might be. Investors’ confidence is related to their prospects of whether their profits are going to be higher or their assets are going to gain value. And building or not building confidence depends to a considerable extent on the policies the government conducts. That’s why confidence is important, and that’s why we focus on confidence in the report.

In the case of South Africa, confidence among stakeholders has been weak during the last several years, leading to low rates of economic growth. And that has been in part related to the fact that governance is not at its best. Corruption in South Africa has had an impact on the trust of the population in their leaders and their institutions. For confidence to improve permanently and contribute to higher investment and employment, economic agents need to see tangible progress in the economic environment.

Do you see signs now that there is the political will to address some of these underlying issues like corruption and transparency?

Yes, I think the new government is aware that corruption is a big obstacle to growth. Investors and consumers have delayed their decisions to invest and spend, and that has had an impact on job creation. We believe that the political change has marked an important turnaround. President Ramaphosa has publicly stated that he wants to combat corruption and increase transparency, and he has made this objective part of his economic strategy.

So, the political will is there. We have seen that some bold steps have already been taken. In particular, the boards and the management of some key state-owned enterprises have been changed with the objective of replacing questionable officials with credible officials. Also in the tax revenue service, there has been a major revamping that will allow collecting taxes that were in the past lost to corruption. And we understand that some public officials who have been involved in illegal practices are being prosecuted.

Given that South Africa has good laws and good institutions, the objective is just that transactions and contracts adhere to these good laws and institutions, So, combating the problem of weak governance in South Africa should not be as hard as in other places.

The strong political commitment to deepen governance reforms will also allow the government to go ahead with other reforms that the country urgently needs, particularly those related to the products and labor markets, to fight unemployment and inequality.

Inequality in South Africa remains a huge problem despite its relatively good institutions and infrastructure. Why this increasing disparity between the rich and the poor, and where do they need to invest to change that trend?

Yes. In fact, South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world, and to some extent this reflects the legacies of apartheid which still weigh on the economy. Black South Africans are still by far poorer than white South Africans, and there are disparities within races as well. Also, there is a pay gap between women and men of about 30 percent, which is quite high, and where people live still determines how much access they might have to an education and to a job.

Inequality is a complex issue that is very related to the lack of jobs. So, there is a need for reforms in the economy to be able to create jobs. Reforms should focus on facilitating competition in the production of goods and services so that more industries come and invest in the country; having more flexible labor laws so that more people could be part of the labor force; and improving the business environment to attract investment.

But what is also happening in South Africa is that companies that generate jobs find it difficult to find workers that fit their high standards, and workers who don’t have jobs find it difficult to find a job that accepts their limited skills. And this is because of the skill mismatches that exist in the country. So, investing in improving the quality of education is a key element to fighting unemployment and inequality.

Also, while South Africa has well targeted programs to transfer resources to the most vulnerable segments of society, there is a need to improve the delivery system of these grants to ensure that more money goes to the poor.

The report does show that the government has increased its spending in programs like education over the years, but with little to show for it. It says the quality of services, especially in education, is one of the lowest in the region. Why has this increased spending not paid off?

Government spending did not pay off in some areas simply because the funds were not spent efficiently. So, in education, for example, there have been significant increases in teachers’ salaries and benefits, but the problem is that these increases often reflect negotiations with powerful trade unions and not necessarily teachers’ performance. A sizable portion of teachers are not well prepared to be teachers, and that is a problem in terms of the quality of education.

Another problem is that funds are distributed unevenly. Public schools in urban areas receive more funding per pupil than in rural areas. In low-income sectors of the country, even if students don’t pay tuition, they still must spend a lot in transportation, and that has led to more people dropping out of school.

So, despite the increase in spending, South Africa has ranked very poorly in international surveys evaluating educational attainment. That is very sad. The statistics show about half of South African students drop out of school before completing secondary education, and less than five percent of students who start primary school end up with a university diploma. In a country like South Africa that enjoys sophistication in many sectors, particularly in the financial sector, this must change.

The financial sector is interesting in South Africa in terms of technology. Technology is playing an increasingly important role in providing services to sectors of the population that have traditionally been left out. How is South Africa doing in terms of putting its services online, and how might that affect living standards and the economy in the coming years?

Yes, South Africa is at the forefront of the digital revolution in Africa. This is benefitting banks and allowing more access of the population to financing, thanks to technological advances like mobile banking. Also, the central bank has established a financial technology unit, which is now piloting interbank clearing and settlement of transactions using distributive ledger technology, and is a model on the continent.

Another interesting development with technology is the link between digitalization and governance. For instance, the government is now emphasizing electronic payments of taxes—tax avoidance having become a key issue in South Africa. Customs declarations are now also done electronically, and a new automated procurement system captures data on the beneficiaries of government contracts, which is very good in terms of improving governance in the country. This system has enhanced inclusivity as well, with a much larger number of smaller enterprises participating in the tender process and getting contracts.

Having said that, I think the use of technology still has a long way to advance in South Africa given the potential of the economy. For example, the cost of internet is high and the quality is low because there are very few competitors. The recommendation of IMF staff is to increase competition in all sectors so that more private companies, domestic and foreign, could invest and compete in the production of services—not only in telecommunications, but also in energy, transport, and other sectors.

Courts Won’t Tolerate Any Abuse of Client Trust Funds Says LeClairRyan Attorney

Governance

A recent decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) demonstrates that size doesn’t matter when it comes to handling client funds and adhering to all requirements of the Rules of Professional Conduct, says David Slocum, a Boston-based partner at national law firm LeClairRyan. Attorneys everywhere, not just in Massachusetts, should pay attention to this ruling, he adds.

“Even if a relatively small amount of money is involved; the client’s deprivation of funds is temporary and relatively short-lived; and the attorney has not obtained a personal benefit, the Matter of Strauss (479 Mass. 294) makes clear that the Board of Bar Overseers and the Massachusetts Courts regard the misuse of client funds as among the gravest forms of professional misconduct, as they should,” Slocum writes in a column, No Harm, No Foul? Not When it Comes to Misuse of Client Funds. The article appears in LeClairRyan’s Summer 2018 Accountant and Attorney Liability NewsBrief.

The Strauss case involved an attorney who negotiated a $5,000 personal injury claim settlement for a client. In late December 2012, while the client was traveling, her attorney received the settlement funds and deposited them into his client trust account. The next day, the attorney withdrew his fee of $1,666.67 pursuant to the contingency fee agreement but didn’t give her any details about the account activity, Slocum notes.

The attorney later wrote a check against the trust account, payable to his father, which reduced the trust balance to $175. When the client returned in January, she asked for the settlement funds without delay. Less than two months later the attorney paid the client the entire amount due in cash, and she signed a receipt for it.

“Following an investigation, the Office of Bar Counsel filed a petition for discipline against the attorney, who said he had ‘earmarked’ the $3,000 for the client,” Slocum relates. “The Board of Bar Overseers hearing committee didn’t buy that, and further found the attorney had submitted ‘reconstructed records’ in an after-the-fact attempt to conceal his misuse of the client’s funds. The BBO recommended suspending the attorney from the practice of law for an indefinite period of time, but a single justice of the SJC imposed a six-month suspension.”

The attorney appealed that and the SJC — noting that attorneys are obliged to safeguard client funds regardless of the amount — suspended the attorney for a period of not less than five years.

“Attorneys often hold client funds for a variety of reasons, and when they do, the attorney’s role is that of fiduciary and virtual trustee,” Slocum advises. “Although it may seem obvious that property held in trust for a client belongs to that client and no one else, the SJC’s decision in Matter of Strauss provides an important reminder that strict adherence to all rules regulating the safekeeping of client funds is of vital importance. Meticulous compliance with those rules protects the client’s property and protects the attorney from the perception of impropriety.”

The full column is available at: https://www.leclairryan.com/pubs/xprPubDetail.aspx?xpST=PubDetail&pub=1153

Regulations for trucks, buses, and large vehicles cut pollution, improve air quality, and boost competitiveness

Earth, Governance

The Government of Canada is delivering on its promise to fight climate change, reduce pollution, and make investments to improve the health of communities while growing the economy.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced new carbon-pollution regulations for heavy-duty vehicles, starting in 2020, and the regulations will become increasingly stringent in the years ahead. By reducing emissions from school buses, transport tractors and trailers, garbage trucks, delivery vans, and larger pick-up trucks, these regulations will make our air cleaner and our communities healthier while helping transportation companies save money. The regulations will promote clean innovation and support good middle-class jobs.

The regulations will also reduce trucking costs for moving goods in Canada, helping the transportation sector become more competitive by saving new vehicle owners approximately $1.7 billion in fuel costs annually, by 2030, and by reducing the cost of transporting goods and materials to customers in Canada and in international markets. The approach will keep Canada globally competitive while protecting the environment.

In Canada, carbon pollution from heavy-duty vehicles has almost tripled since 1990. Today, it is comparable to emissions from coal-fired electricity. These regulations will decrease the growth of carbon pollution from this part of our transportation sector.

Reducing pollution from heavy-duty vehicles is also an important part of Canada’sclean-growth and climate action plan. The new standards for heavy-duty vehicles will reduce carbon pollution by approximately 6 million tonnes a year by 2030, which is comparable to taking about 1.5 million passenger vehicles off the road for one year.

Canada’s regulations are designed to promote innovation and provide flexibility to industry to choose the most cost-effective compliance options. Heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers will have the flexibility to choose the clean technologies that will increase their fuel efficiency and reduce emissions and operating costs.

Quotes

“The environment and the economy go hand in hand. Large vehicles are an important part of Canada’s economy—we rely on them to get kids to school, move goods to customers, and keep our neighbourhoods clean. They also contribute to smog and carbon pollution, which harm our health and our environment. With these new regulations, we are making the air cleaner and fighting climate change while helping businesses compete and grow and supporting jobs for middle-class Canadians.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick Facts

  • Currently, heavy-duty vehicle emissions account for 9 percent of Canada’s total emissions.
  • Introducing new heavy-duty vehicle regulations and making investments in low-carbon transportation are important parts of Canada’s climate action plan to meet its Paris Agreement commitments.
  • Canada is also phasing in the implementation of regulations to provide more lead time for industry to maximize investments in new technology and upgrade existing facilities.
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada has consulted with Canadians and industry stakeholders on the development of new heavy-duty vehicle emissions regulations, since 2014.
  • The Government of Canada is also supporting the transportation industry through Budget 2017’s investment of $10.1 billion in trade and transportation projects over the next decade. This investment will help build stronger, more efficient transportation corridors to international markets and will enable Canadian businesses to compete and grow while creating more jobs for Canada’s middle class.

Cell Phone Alerts To Provide “Get Out And Vote” Message

Governance

Citizen suggests using cell phone and media notifications to get the message out on voting days

Evan Kosiner, recipient of the Sovereign’s Medal For Volunteers, Caring Canadian Award and a House Of Commons Award, is calling on the Right Honourable Justin P.J. Trudeau, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to use their power regarding the National Alert Aggregation & Dissemination System (NAAD System) to get the message out to Canadians to go out and vote.

Within his letter to the above parties, the suggestion was made, “If due to government bureaucracy it doesn’t fall into the “emergency” category, the innovator in me suggests it perhaps it could be conveniently another test day that happens to mention to “Get out and vote!””

With forthcoming provincial and municipal elections, using this system to get Canadians into the voting booth is a viable means and in the public interest.

Vedanta Limited: Update on Tuticorin Smelter

Business, Governance, Press Releases

Further to our announcement dated May 24th, 2018 the Company has received an order dated May 28, 2018 from the Government of Tamil Nadu directing the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to seal the Company’s ‘Copper Smelter Plant 1 at Thoothukkudi District, Tamil Nadu’ and to close the said plant permanently.

The Company is further studying the order and shall keep the stock exchanges updated on any developments.

Also the SIPCOT vide its letter today, has informed the Company regarding cancellation of 342.22 acres of land allotted to the company for the proposed expansion ‘Copper Smelter Plant 2 Project’ at Thoothukkudi District, Tamil Nadu. The land price for the same shall be refunded by SIPCOT as per their norms.

Russian Davos: 2018 Gaidar Forum at RANEPA, Moscow

Governance

From January 16 to 18, the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) in Moscow hosted the Ninth Gaidar Forum, this years first major international expert conference on the global economy. The event annually gathers Russian and foreign experts, leading international academics and practitioners. Its speakers include politicians, economists, and representatives of financial and business elites.

     (Logo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/583211/RANEPA_Logo.jpg )

(Photo: https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/643320/RANEPA_Gaidar_Forum.jpg )

The discussions focus on important current problems and most important issues in the social and economic sphere. The Forum was established in 2010 in tribute to the memory of outstanding Russian economist Yegor Gaidar and is traditionally supported by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Participation is open to anyone who has influence on the global world order through their advanced achievements in economics.

The following prominent experts spoke at the forum in different years: President of the European Central Bank (2003-2011), Chairman of the Group of Thirty, Jean-Claude Trichet; Regius Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Christopher Pissarides; Professor at Yale University, one of the world’s leading sociologists, Immanuel Wallerstein; President of GreeceProkopis Pavlopoulos; Minister of State (Prime Minister) of the Principality of MonacoMichel Roger; Secretary-General of OECD, Angel Gurria; President of the Czech Republic (2003 – 2013) Vaclav Klaus; Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber, and many others.

This year’s highlight was Russia and the World: Values and Virtues. The participants discussed the drivers of innovation development, digital society, business opportunities, cluster approach in the age of digital economy, public administration, tax policy, and healthcare. The program included discussions and sessions on the most acute problems of the new reality: Europe after Brexit, attracting investments under sanctions, global energy market under new conditions, environmental protection and many more.

The key event of the forum, the Values and Virtues plenary discussion, was attended by the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, who talked about the top challenges of our time: the increasing inequality – uneven incomes, uneven territorial development; the risk of an artificial technological gap growing between the world’s regions; and ensuring security in the digital space.

RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau moderated the discussion.

The plenary session participants included Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank Kristalina Georgieva; Chairman of JP Morgan Chase International, former Chairman of the Bank of Israel (1991-2000), and member of RANEPA International Advisory Board Jacob Frenkel; political analyst, Chairman of the Center for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Permanent Fellow with the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna Ivan Krastev; President of the European Policy Center, President Emeritus of the European Council (2009-2014), former Prime Minister of Belgium (2008-2009) Herman Van Rompuy; and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of FinlandKai Mykkanen.

The Ninth Gaidar Forum featured a presentation of the National Report on the Development of High-Tech Business in Russian Regions; experts discussed the growth of the regional economies and welfare, the effectiveness of companies’ investments in new projects, technological changes, and human capital.

AACSB President Tom Robinson, IMD President Jean-François Manzoni and RANEPA Vice-Rector Sergei Myasoyedov identified the main trends in business education in the future during the Business School Model for the 21st Century Leaders session.

The forum participants also discussed the Russian-French cooperation through civil societies as part of the Trianon dialogue program. Of great interest was the open lecture, Artificial Intelligence – a Challenge for Mankind.

This year’s forum convened more than 15,000 participants and 1,750 journalists. It is one of the most quoted economic conferences in Russia. The Financial Times included the forum in the top five world business events. The Gaidar Forum was recognized as the business event of the year and won The Moscow Times Award in 2013.