Demand must not be ignored

26 january 2016 | INA Rossiya Segodnya

What did the participants of the 46th World Economic Forum in Davos talk about? Why was it that while the official topic of the Forum was the 4th industrial revolution, the participants also discussed the European migration crisis, the slowdown of Asian economies, and the falling oil prices? What conclusions were made that concern Russia? These were the issues discussed at the Round Table held at the INA Rossiya Segodnya Press Center, whose participants included the Deputy Head of the Analytical Center Gleb Pokatovich.

Gleb Pokatovich
Gleb Pokatovich
Deputy Head

The expert stressed that such topics as oil, China, and the 4th industrial revolution discussed at Davos-2016 should not be viewed in isolation. 'Today, everybody is looking at the prices and trying to figure out what oil companies are going to do next," Mr Pokatovich said. "However, we must also remember another important factor -- demand -- And how it responds to changes in the situation." The expert cited most recent statistics on the development of the global automotive market, the largest consumer of fuel, in 2015. "The past year has actually shown some record figures: 17.5 million cars were sold in the US, 21 million in China, and 14.2 million in Europe. All of them consume a lot of fuel and car owners are also responding to the situation in the oil market."

The innovations that were discussed in Davos in the context of the 4th industrial revolution are mostly about services, according to Mr Potakovich. In his opinion, the foundation laid down by the previous industrial revolution that kicked off the development in telecommunications, has been used to set up companies that operate primarily in the virtual realm, on the Internet, and depend on demand for the type of services they offer. "Modern technological breakthroughs and innovations, such as micro-bots and nanotechnologies, are steps towards radical improvements in healthcare. For example, if you have a nanobot floating in your blood monitoring your health and reporting on it, that too is essentially a service," the expert explained. "So, the revolution we are on the verge of now, is not really an industrial revolution in the strict sense of the word."

See the video recording of the event on the website of the INA Rossiaya Segodnya Press Center