The Analytical Center and the World Bank have held a round-table on the assessment of the competitiveness of Russian regions, during which experts discussed the implementation of a project that has been provisionally titled Time to Look for New Opportunities.
The goal of the project is to identify the structural constrains and growth potential in Russian regions. Earlier the World Bank already used this methodology to monitor the competitiveness of the various regions in the EU and other federal states.
Dmitry Sivayev, an urban economy expert and the manager of the project, believes that it is important to understand to what degree Russian regions are using urbanization as a driver for growth based on entrepreneurship, innovations, increased productivity, and high technologies.
During the round-table the experts discussed the huge difference that exists between the various regions in Russia in terms of their economic development. "On the one hand, it is a natural process, but on the other there is a lot of potential in the sense that the less developed regions can try and catch up with the more advanced ones," Mr. Sivayev believes.
The main goal today is to understand the nature of the differences in regional development. The discussion participants agreed that it was necessary to look for new resources for economic growth at the level of countries while keeping track of regional growth potential around the world.
The experts paid special attention to the proximity to large well-developed regions as a key factor impacting regional development. "The stronger regions should not only be talking about development within their borders; they should also be talking about transforming and projecting their power beyond their borders," said Leontief Center representative Aleksey Krylovsky.
The potential of Russian cities does not often get used in full, the discussion participants believe. So the challenge the expert community is facing today is to propose ways to deal with the current situation to effect improvements in it.