Putin to speak at Russia Calling! Forum

Russian President Vladimir Putin will talk to participants of VTB Capital’s "RUSSIA CALLING!" forum by video link, this year’s Forum moved online due to coronavirus pandemic.

The 12th "RUSSIA CALLING!" Forum will be held on October 29-30. Last week Dmitry Peskov, President’s press-secretary, said that Putin was expected to take part in the event by video link, and was likely to talk to VTB’s head Andrei Kostin.

As per the Forum’s program, Putin’s speech is scheduled for the afternoon. Then the President will participate in a Q&A session, moderated by Kostin.
The VTB Capital’s Investment Forum has been held annually since 2009, and this year due to the coronavirus situation it will for the first time be held in online format. The pandemic this year has affected formats of multiple major conferences, some of which were canceled completely, like the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi or the Saint-Petersburg Economic Forum.

The event will be spinning around the topic of “Global Challenges, Local Remedies”. Participants and guests, according to the Forum’s hosts, will add up to roughly one million businesspeople and politicians from around the world.

Event hosts assure that, despite going online, the forum will retain its core concept and will be made up of three sessions on macroeconomics and the impact of the pandemic on global markets, monetary policies pursued by central banks, labor productivity and employment, financial instruments in a new reality, transformation and adaptation of business processes in the new environment, and technologies for a secure future.

For the first time, the Forum will be broadcast to a wide audience, any viewer from anywhere in the world with access to the internet will be able to join the broadcast and hear the speakers’ speeches. Experts will take part in discussions from studios around the world, including Europe, USA, Asia and the Middle East.

Putin has traditionally participated in the VTB Capital’s Investment Forum. Speaking at a plenary session in last year’s November, the President said that Russia maintained positive economic dynamics despite declining economic indicators across the world. He also noted high interest of investors in Russian equities and specified that it was important to transform this interest into investments in real assets.

Putin also underlined that wages of Russians were growing but real disposable income was treading water, and called to change the situation. In his speech the President pointed to the need to achieve drastic breakthroughs in increasing labor efficiency.

Participants of the discussion also focused on the subject of implementation of national projects. Answering questions on the Putin then noted that budget execution in the country was doing better than application of funds for national projects. He also underlined that the authorities did not focus on spending money on national projects "by all means", a result was needed, translating into higher economic growth rates, labor efficiency and ultimately making an impact on well-being of people.