‘A precedent embalms a principle’ – Benjamin Disraeli
In the coming week, my native city of St Petersburg will host an international economic forum, the main purpose of which will be the promotion of Russia as an attractive prospect for outside investment.
SPIEF will be held in the new convention centre ‘Expoforum’ whilst this year’s delegates will be feverishly looking to get reservations at the top hotels. GHE, Four Seasons and W are hosting some of the most important sessions. Once again, the most prominent venue will be the Four Seasons Lions Palace hotel, located in the renovated palace of Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky. Next week this extraordinary hotel will be the essential focal point for some of most recognized Forbes and Fortune faces of the forum.
When Lion Palace opened it was a Read more
“False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often long endure; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, as every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened.”
— Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (1871)
Crony capitalism is the subject of considerable and often misguided debate. It is an economic system where those who are inappropriately close to government officials are given unfair advantages, commonly in the form of financial incentives. As a person with a regulated European fund and yet on the receiving end of baseless allegations of crony capitalism, this is a topic I follow closely.
I am a frequent reader of The Economist, a publication which prides itself on its quality of research, but I was very surprised by an article that I recently read which featured an updated ‘crony capitalism index’. Read more
We have heard mixed accounts of Russian businesses lately, and against this backdrop I was pleased to note some positive developments in the Russian pharmaceuticals industry.
According to a report from RBC, the US firm Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), the world’s largest network of pharmacies, has acquired a 15 per cent stake in the Russian pharmacy chain 36,6. This forms part of a wider deal, which also includes the acquisition by 36,6 of WBA’s distribution arm ‘Alliance Healthcare Russia’ Read more
‘Для того чтобы коровы меньше ели и больше давали молока, их надо меньше кормить и больше доить’ – Музыкант и актер Николай Фоменко
‘To make cows eat less and give more milk, you should feed them less and milk them more’ – Joke by Russian musician and comic actor Nikolai Fomenko
While the Russian economy is struggling, the agricultural sector is doing better than most. Here, I wish to suggest that – aside from filling us with optimism, as we look to plant this year’s crops – current developments in agriculture could see Russia reaping economic rewards for years come. Read more
“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same
person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
Haruki Murakami in Kafka on the Shore
The atmosphere at this year’s World Economic Forum, held in the Swiss resort of Davos earlier this year, was unusually gloomy with the focus on the economic slowdown in China, negative developments in the Middle East and the economic situation in Russia. Read more
See here for a short video with some highlights from when I spoke on the Trade and Investment panel at the London Business School.
In the current economic climate, it is encouraging to see that Pirelli, a major Italian tyre manufacturer, is set to continue investing in Russia. This shows that even in difficult market conditions there are opportunities for...