The forum is being held in an online format for 2020.
Excerpts from the transcript:
Esteemed Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Mr Chung Sye-kyun, Esteemed participants in the plenary session and forum guests,
I am happy to welcome you to the Open Innovations Moscow International Forum.
First of all, I would like to thank my colleague, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Mr Chung Sye-kyun for accepting my invitation to the forum. Regrettably, we could not meet personally because of the coronavirus. In the future we will meet and hold talks by all means.
This year we are celebrating an important anniversary for our countries – 30 years of diplomatic relations between Russia and the Republic of Korea. I am sure we will mark quite a few memorable dates in this respect.
This year, the participants at Open Innovations are communicating online. This is a necessary precaution in the current situation to help preserve our health.
I am pleased to note that despite the change of format, interest in it has not abated. Lively discussions have been held here for the second day running. Experts, investors, startup founders and government representatives have come up with interesting ideas and proposals. This dialogue is particularly important now, in this difficult situation.
We are working together to try to find an answer to the main question: are we ready for a different world?
The coronavirus has dealt a sudden blow to all countries. It is depriving all states of their most valuable asset – the lives of their citizens.
Drastic changes are taking place in all economic sectors. Trends in globalisation, transparency and hyper-connectivity that seemed so natural just yesterday, have been disrupted: economic isolation, suspended logistics and production chains, and closed borders. The coronavirus demanded an immediate response.
The decisions made by the Russian Government during the pandemic served one goal only: to save lives. This defined the measures taken by the Government. We have supported victims of the situation: people, businesses and entire economic sectors.
All of this demanded big budget expenses. But we had a clear vision of what we needed to do. There was no other way to support the economy and the people.
Since the beginning of the spread of the coronavirus Russian scientists started developing vaccines and medicines to treat it. Russia has already registered two coronavirus vaccines. We hope they will help stop the spread of the virus as quickly as possible.
Russian development institutions also joined the fight against the virus. For example, the Skolkovo Fund, which is a co-founder of this forum, has laid out the priority areas of technological development and products, which are especially needed during the pandemic, such as new testing technologies and prospective medicines, remote working services and online education platforms.
Several solutions from Skolkovo residents are now available, including a rapid test for antibodies for the coronavirus with results as fast as 10-15 minutes.
The residents are also designing an online national monitoring system for infectious incidence rates. Using artificial intelligence, they assess risks, detect outbreaks and predict infections, such as ARVI, pneumonia and, of course, coronavirus. Daily forecasts are being currently done in the Amur Region, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Krasnodar Territory.
Another interesting service is aimed at supporting clinical trials, including those for coronavirus medicines. A digital platform has been established to organise large research areas for medicines and medical products remotely. Investors, doctors and patients alike can use the service.
Every country has chosen its own way to counter the spread of the coronavirus and its own way to recovery. But I think we all share the opinion that the impact would have been even more disruptive without universal digitalisation. Just 20 to 30 years ago a lot of things we are used to now were not even in the planning stages.
We are holding this forum during this difficult period thanks to technology. It transcends borders between countries and distances between continents and makes it possible to communicate freely while protecting us from an infection. When the situation improves we will be happy to welcome everyone to Russia.
Digital advances have mitigated the impact of the virus for everyone. A lot of enterprises have switched to remote work. School and university students continued to study online. People can still get public services without leaving their homes. The government has transferred to online formats the issuance of many documents, such as sick leave and unemployment benefits. People can also apply for social aid online.
The Russian Unified Portal of Public Services has become the most visited public website in the world. It has over 127 million registered users, of which 74 million have verified accounts. In addition to usual services, the portal provides “super services.” These are services depending on life circumstances. For example, this year the Online University Admission super service was launched. It made it possible to submit documents to universities without in-person visits to admissions offices, paper applications and queues. This right was used by 18,000 entrants.
The system of providing public services will be further improved to become more convenient, understandable and simple. We will continue to build a new, digital circuit of interaction between people and the state.
We launched the Digital Economy national programme. It comprehensively prepares the state for the transition to a new digital economic reality. Regulation and accessible information infrastructure are created within this reality. We train competent personnel. We support Russian technologies and upgrade public administration based on digital technology. Special attention is paid to ensuring cyber security.
It is thanks to the implementation of this programme that over the past two years government agencies and businesses have been able to quickly adjust to the new conditions. The programme will continue.
We started solving other problems as well. First of all – to make sure that every citizen of our country has access to communications and the internet. The coronavirus has exposed and even exacerbated the digital divide. Living only offline during the period of restrictions meant absolute isolation from life.
We will continue to connect all medical and educational institutions to the internet. Over the next four years, we must ensure that at least 90 percent of all households have internet access.
Work is underway to create 5G communications networks. The highest-potential radio frequency ranges have been identified.
We are promoting end-to-end digital technology products. They allow us to organise production, financial services and logistics in a new manner. Today, artificial intelligence is the most promising direction of development. Russia is set to take a leading position in this area.
In addition, we are setting the stage for the establishment and development of IT companies in this country, making our jurisdiction attractive to these companies – both Russian and foreign. Beginning next year, the corporate income tax for IT companies will be cut to 3 percent and the social insurance premium rate to 7.6 percent.
In general, we will continue working to create an environment conducive to doing business in this country. Yesterday, I talked about this at a Foreign Investment Advisory Council meeting. Despite the uneasy situation in both our country and around the world, we will keep pursuing this policy.
And the last thing: today, all countries are seeking to win the technology race, Russia included. However, we must not forget that all countries without exception are creating a new global technological world together. Only together can we score a greater success in this endeavour. Not a single country is capable of tackling the ambitious challenges facing the world.
Although the coronavirus outbreak has put us at a distance from one another, we have plenty of opportunities to communicate and we must take advantage of them.
I call on everyone to exchange experience and ideas and develop interaction. Our country is open to cooperation.
Answering the key question of today’s forum, if we are prepared to fit into a new world, I will say: “Yes, Russia is prepared.” I am sure we will cope with all difficulties and will be able to achieve the objectives we have set.
Thank you for your attention. I wish you all the best with your work, as well as useful business connections.