RUSSIA–GERMANY: IMPROVING THE COMPETITIVE EDGE OF THE RUSSIAN AND GERMAN ECONOMIES VIA COOPERATION IN INDUSTRY 4.0 APPLICATIONS
The debate at the business round table focused on the industrial development of cooperation between Russia and Germany in the field of transport, infrastructure, car manufacturing, energy, and other industries. The parties discussed the concept of a new industrial revolution.
Prof. Klaus Mangold, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at TUI AG, acted as the moderator.
Germany helped Russia to significantly modernize its manufacturing sector, Russian participants noted. More than half of German imports into Russia are technological equipment and components.
Around 5,500 companies with German capital are currently operating in Russia, making it the largest foreign business community in Russia. Germany is highly interested in the Russian market despite a significant decrease in sales. The panelists expressed confidence that the existing restrictions were of a temporary nature.
The German representatives offered Russia to take part in the development of various digital projects. They want the Industry 4.0 concept to unite all European nations with a view to creating a single communication system.
The speakers stressed that the world was undergoing a critical moment of another revolution. Those using new technologies have better chances to win in the competitive struggle. Those unable to do so will be lagging behind, with all that it entails.
With the current level of the euro/rouble exchange rate and the cost of production in Russia, it can become one of the main exporters of software and software design services to Germany and other EU countries, the panellists noted.
Alexey Mordashov, Chairman of Severstal, stressed that Russia was facing a new challenge. The percentage of IT in the country’s GDP has been at around 2.5% over the past few years. In the European Union, it is 5%, and 6% in the United States. The gap of 5–8 years was not that much, but it threatened to reach 12–15 years shortly, Mr. Mordashov warned.