The Economy of Trust as the Key Driver of Integration in Greater Eurasia

On May 26, 2018  the foresight session for young researchers “The Economy of Trust as the Key Driver of Integration in Greater Eurasia” took place at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). The event was organized by the Institute of Economic Strategies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Yuri Kofner, head of the CCEIS Eurasian sector of the Higher School of Economics, analyst of the OECD-HSE Center, was a speaker of the panel session, and many young researchers of the HSE Eurasian sector and of the media portal “Eurasian Studies” from more than 20 countries of the  wider Eurasian continent took part in the work of the young researchers’ groups.

Today, mutual trust is more essential than ever: it’s a key factor in forming a favourable environment for economic cooperation across Eurasia. But how can economic collaboration be fostered in such a way that honesty and transparency translate into profit and prosperity? How can these abstract values be applied when looking at tangible economic indicators for joint projects? How can a just and fair transformation of economic cooperation between countries be achieved to make development mutually beneficial, when the countries involved display different degrees of human capital development, as well as significant cultural and social differences?

Moderator: Alexander Ageev, Director General, International Research Institute of Management Problems. Panellists:  Svetozar Darnev, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Osnova;  Dmitry Egorchenkov, Director, Institute for Strategic Studies and Predictions, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia;  Yan Kalish, Associate, Baker Botts LLP; Yuri Kofner, head of the CCEIS Eurasian sector of the Higher School of Economics, analyst of the OECD-HSE Center;  Sammy Kotwani, President, Indian Business Alliance (IBA); Svetlana Smirnova, First Deputy Secretary General, International Union of Non-Governmental Organizations “Assembly of Peoples of Eurasia” (Russia); Dmitry Stefanovsky, Head, Laboratory of Information Technologies and Digital Consulting; Co-founder, Digital Transformation School, The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA); Sergey Sulimov, Founder, “Leader” Educational Center; Founder, “EnglishPapa” Language School; Founder, BookYourStudy Service.

KEY CONCLUSIONS

Partnership does not immediately mean trust

“What emerges once the trust is there? Is it partnership, cooperation or collaboration? From the viewpoint of Google, the most popular answer is partnership. However, if you think about it, partners do not always trust each other, while those, who are in cooperation or collaboration, have a greater degree of trust,” Dmitry Stefanovsky, Head of Laboratory of Information Technologies and Digital Consulting; Co-founder, Digital Transformation School, The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).

Trust directly affects the economy 

“Numbers can demonstrate that trust affects the economy. There is a formula showing such influence. The higher the trust, the lower the costs,” Sergey Sulimov, Founder, Leader Educational Centre; Founder, “EnglishPapa” Language School; Founder, BookYourStudy Service.

“Trust has a foundation, if it is based on responsibility. When you are trusted, you take responsibility, and vice versa. In this case, trust can be regarded as an economic factor,” Svetozar Darnev, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Osnova.

“The first level of conflicts is related to everyday communal problems. The next level is a conflict of interests. The third type of conflict is a conflict of identity. The fourth – ontological conflicts. The fact that we rose to ontological level means a lot,” Alexander Ageev, Director General, International Research Institute of Management Problems.

PROBLEMS

Politics comes first on the list of problems 

“The economy of Greater Eurasia is in normal condition. This forum and Eastern Forum show that economic processes are under way. Problems are related not to the base, but to the superstructure – political component, ideology,” Dmitry Egorchenkov, Director, Institute for Strategic Studies and Predictions, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia.

Mass media and social networks replace personal communication and experience for many people

“All news sources are called yellow press today, because there is no truth there. The most efficient system is the people. I encourage you not to trust the news out there. Not everything is right with social networks, as well. I think we should get to know each other in person and only then become friends on Facebook,” Sammy (Manoj) Kotwani, President, Indian Business Alliance (IBA).

SOLUTIONS

Develop integration and avoid mutual accusations 

“The example of international arbitration shows what trust is made of. First of all, it is trusting the institution. Secondly, it is trusting specific people. The same things are important for integration. Trusting integration institutions and trusting people that we integrate with,” Yan Kalish, Associate, Baker Botts LLP.

“Our assembly has been created only recently. It is only one year old. However, we have managed to hold multiple round tables on business, culture of relationships, sport, international communication,” Irina Darneva, Presidium Member, World Forum of Spiritual Culture; Presidium Member, Peace through Culture International Association; General Council Member, Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly.

“We should unite our efforts in Eurasia. We must prevent the war from happening, no matter what. We must not point at anyone saying they are better or worse. We should start with a small step. We should provide for a new movement on creating mutual trust,” Sammy (Manoj) Kotwani.

Provide for truthful coverage of processes happening in Eurasia

“We should do everything possible to spread the word about Eurasian Economic Union in Europe and Asia, since much of what they write about it is not true. This is a mutually profitable economic union,” Yuri Kofner, head, Eurasian sector, Higher School of Economics.

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