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  • Chair of the Business 20 Task Force on Innovation and Development as a Global Priority Viktor Vekselberg

Growth of the Russian High-Tech Market could benefit other economies

In an interview with RIA Novosti, Chair of the Business 20 Task Force on Innovation and Development as a Global Priority Viktor Vekselberg spoke about the results of the work done during Russia's G20 Presidency.

He said Business 20 focused on formulating recommendations that would not only meet the interests of particular countries but also help bridge the gap between developed and developing countries. Mr. Vekselberg mentioned four priorities to ensure economic growth through innovation.

Energy and energy efficiency are the first priority. "The access of countries to energy resources has become more difficult and disproportionate. We must use new, innovative technology to produce and generate energy and to build major energy infrastructure in developing regions," Viktor Vekselberg said, adding that "it is essential to consider security interests in the energy industry, for instance nuclear energy."

Biotechnology, food production, medicine and healthcare are the second priority. Mr. Vekselberg said healthcare has become more of an economic than a social issue. During the past century, the average lifespan increased substantially in industrialized countries, which had a positive effect on the economic growth. "G20 countries should promote the transition from relying on absolute demographic indicators and average lifespan to the quality of public health," he emphasized.

Speaking about the third priority - information technology - Viktor Vekselberg pointed out that by creating the conditions for the development of information and communication infrastructure, the state is playing a key role in ensuring access to information for individual users and socially significant economic sectors.

"Finally, the fourth priority is the transformation of the regulation of intellectual property," Mr. Vekselberg said. "Since innovations are largely based on the achievements of years past, it is very important to find a balance between the rights of inventors to benefit from their discoveries and the interests of innovative development."

Viktor Vekselberg added that it is very important for economic development to provide access to technology, knowledge and advanced experience. Experts believe it is necessary to revise the existing global intellectual property regime in order to expand the base of innovations and to support bona fide competition in global high-tech markets. He added that new regulations will also help correct imbalances in the global economy.

"All these problems are long-term rather than immediate, and we must resolve them to meet global challenges," Mr. Vekselberg said. "This task requires completely different, qualitatively new and attractive jobs. Participants in the G20 Summit were practically unanimous on this point."

"Not many countries are able to drive the effort to lift the global economy out of its current recession. Our country is one such driver, and the growth of the Russian high-tech market will tangibly benefit the economies of other countries, primarily those that cooperate with Russia," he added.

The full version of the interview you can find here (only Russian version)