Slavonic Society: Victor Belogub – Can an innovative economy be built in Russia?

Tuesday, 25th September 2012

The Slavonic society was fortunate to welcome Victor Belogub, Director of Venture Capitalism at VTB, the 2nd largest bank in Russia. Speaking on the possibilities of building an innovative economy in Russia, Mr Belogub began by highlighting the issues that face the country in the 21st century: a lack of infrastructure, a lack of good educational systems, limited investor and consumer confidence, a deeply ingrained perception of failure, and the ever present menace of corruption. These all stand as obstacles to Russian growth. However, he then went on to explain the possibilities that the country presents, most notably the way in which the Russian people have embraced technology (there is currently more than 1 mobile phone in use per person, and Russians are the largest internet population in the EU) and the fact that the Putin administration is at the forefront of this new developing market. In the last few years the government has established three new funds to encourage growth in this sector, and investment funds such as RussNano and the Skolkovo Inovative centre, along with investments from the larger Russian banks, have helped to propel innovation in the last few years. A review of national progress is due in the next month, but the prospects of a fully-fledged innovative economy being established in Russia seem promising.

Van Someren (JMOB)