German Week 2015
During the XII Germany Week in St. Petersburg, the Gorky House of Scientists under the Russian Academy of Sciences hosted an international research conference ‘Russia and Germany – regional economies after sanctions,’ organized by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and HSE.
During the conference, there was a plenary meeting and three round tables.
Discussion on the theme of ‘Preparing staff for the real sector of the economy in the following areas: logistics, international law of the sea, innovation management for the regional economy,’ was led by Professor Alexander Khodachek, President of HSE St. Petersburg and Academic Supervisor Andrey Bochkarev, who heads the educational programme ‘Logistics and Supply Chain Management’.
Executive Director of the German-Russian Economic Union Dr. Hanno Stöcker in his presentation noted: ‘I can assure you that the German business community supported sanctions unwillingly and without any joy. Everyone wants to retain contacts with Russia, but in Germany you cannot talk about that openly, and that really is a new experience for us. Business in Germany is used to being able to express itself and its desires concisely and clearly to politicians. Now the situation has changed.’ German business wants to return to the previous tone of relations with Russia, Stöcker said.
Chair of the St. Petersburg Committee on Economic Policy and Strategic Planning Elena Ulyanova during the meeting recalled that Germany is St. Petersburg’s second largest partner in terms of trade volume, and despite sanctions trade is stable.
Youth events are a now-traditional part of the conference, and this year’s round table theme was related to the main theme: ‘Russia’s economy – new markets, the problem of import substitution.’ The discussion was led by Andrey Podlesny, MA student at HSE St Petersburg.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students at HSE St Petersburg, St Petersburg State University, the Herzen Russian Pedagogical University, and other institutions all presented reports. The young academics’ work was highly diverse, looking at territories from the far north to South East Asia, and raising issues in a wide range of sectors – from the agro-industrial complex and planning new nature reserves, to e-government and high-tech.
The main takeaway from the youth section confirmed the need to reduce the Russian economy’s dependence on imports, in part by improving production security by developing the national agriculture sector and associated production facilities, and also by further developing IT.