January 15, 2021 20:48

Gaidar Forum 2021: How will digital transformation affect the lives of Russians?

Gaidar Forum 2021: How will digital transformation affect the lives of Russians?

What sectors of the Russian economy are heading for an accelerated digital transformation, and how can it help improve the quality of life of Russians? The “Digital Transformation = New Quality of Living” discussion dedicated to the influence of digital technologies on the life of citizens was held during the second day of the Gaidar Forum 2021. 

The list of discussion participants included Anton Kotyakov, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation, Daniil Egorov, Head of the Federal Tax Service, Anastasiya Rakova, Deputy Mayor for Social Development in the Moscow Government, Tigran Khudaverdyan, Managing Director of Yandex Group. The discussion was moderated by Maxim Oreshkin, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation.

The pandemic has emphasized the importance of digital technology in our lives. Russia, as well as other countries around the world, has embarked on the digitalization of a number of spheres, from state administration to public services, with the Russian President Vladimir Putin quoting digital transformation as one of the new national development goals to be achieved by 2030. 

As Anton Kotyakov, Minister of Labour and Social Protection, noted, one of the main challenges the state is facing now in tersm of digital transformation is the provision of public services online. He observed that, although the pandemic had accelerated the process, the services were still provided to the population under different rules in different regions of the country. 

"We still see that more than 80% of public services in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation or municipal services in principle are not displayed on the Unified portal of state services, they are not featured on the public services portal. It’s not that they are provided <...> chaotically, they are provided according to the principles and procedures that are established in each constituent entity. They are often different, which means that we do not ensure social equality throughout the territory of the Russian Federation," said Kotyakov.

According to him, the goal of the Ministry of Labour is to standardize the provision of public services, as well as to remove the burden from the recipients, ensure convenience and simplify the provision of services.

Anastasiya Rakova, Deputy Mayor for Social Development in the Moscow Government, suggested that digitalization would first of all reach retail, taxi services and banks. As for such conservative sectors as healthcare and education, in her opinion, the state should be the driver of "digital" change, and Moscow, for instance, is already making great strides in this direction. For example, approximately 300,000 patients have been treated via a telemedicine centre since the start of the pandemic, and a million consultations have been held.

"I'm quite sure that all the digital changes today contribute, can contribute as much to improving the quality of patient care as the development of medical science itself," she emphasized.

At the same time, the digitalization of education and healthcare will not lead to higher unemployment, Rakova stressed. "For the education and healthcare sectors, the digitalization can in no way lead to an increase in unemployment, because in these sectors, it will allow to make up for some of the personnel shortages that currently exist. And that's very important, so it's hardly an issue that's going to face these industries down the road," she said.

In his turn, Tigran Khudaverdyan, Managing Director of Yandex Group, believes that today the consumers’ perception has changed - they have realized that digital technologies can bring benefits. "2020 was a turbo-button year. Overnight, virtually all areas had to accelerate thousands of times in terms of the digital conversion of services. Because it became clear that those services could not be consumed in the old way because of the self-isolation, for one reason or another. And 2020 gave us hyper-acceleration," he said.  


Photographer: Mikhail Tereshchenko / TASS

The Gaidar Forum “Russia and the World After the Pandemic” will be held on January 14 and 15 at the Presidential Academy. The Forum will traditionally open the annual business agenda of Russia. In 2021, this large-scale event will be held in a hybrid format, both online and offline.

This time, the main discussion track will be social and economic transformations that have occurred in the country and the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The expert discussions will be focused on the national and global development goals and the search for practical solutions to the most urgent challenges of today. The Forum’s participants include ministers from the Russian Government, members of the Federal Assembly, governors of the Russian regions, largest world experts, representatives of foreign states.

The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom PJSC and Gazprombank JSC.

The strategic partners are Russian Railways OJSC, Johnson&Johnson, ACIG Group, Novartis.

The partner of the forum is MasterCard, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)

The discussion partners are Magnit, Pepsi, Huawei, Coca-Cola, AstraZeneca, Takeda, EY.

General media partners: TASS, Business FM, RIA Novosti, RBC. Strategic media partners: Interfax, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Kommersant Publishing House, RIA FederalPress, Invest-Foresight magazine. Main media partners: Anews, News.ru, lenta.ru. International media partners: Russia Today.

Media partners: PRO Business TV channel, AEI PRIME, Polit.ru, Strategy magazine, Public Administration magazine, Ekonomika i Zhizn newspaper, Econs portal, Finam, Bankovskoye Obozreniye magazine, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, Snob media project, Echo of Moscow radio station, Nauchno-Obrazovatelnaya Politika Telegram channel.