Dr. Jelle Zijlstra was the former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, President of the Central Bank of the Netherlands, and President of the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland, with long-standing engagement with the Swiss Chamber of Commerce in The Netherlands. In honour of this renowned economist, we recognize international leaders whose work champions economic national growth, generational-shifting innovation, global collaboration, or charitable commitments which dramatically improve the quality of life for society.
Over the past two years, bilateral economic relations between Switzerland and Russia have been developing in a positive light. For example, Swiss export volume growth reached double digits in both since 2017. Switzerland currently exports about $2.5 billion to Russia, which amounts to about 80 percent of export volumes prior to the 2013 crisis. We can see this recovery also with regard to the SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), which have recently been entering the Russian market more actively. Similarly, investments from Swiss companies in Russia have seen an upturn as well. Investments grew by 10 percent over the past two years, and Switzerland is currently in the top-10 countries in Russia in terms of in terms of total direct investment. Recently, Swiss Business Hub Russia has been formed as an official branch of the Swiss embassy. Therefore, Russia’s economy is important for Swiss business.
The Russian economy has gone through two distinct periods. From 1999-2008, Russia boomed with an average growth of 7 percent per year. Since 2009, Russia’s economy on average grew 1 percent per year. The pandemic and the oil price war are serious threats to the nation’s economy.
Russia’s economy is undergoing a profound transformation. In the coming years, Russia needs to radically upgrade its economic system to meet the changes and challenges dictated by the new global social and economic order. The pandemic and the global economic crisis require new strategies. On a national level, the common element is the acuteness of the issues at hand, which require re-analyzing Russia’s past economic policies and finding solutions that are often unprecedented. The current pandemic has made the situation even more acute.
Russia needs to implement a development model that will help the country attain a prominent position in the modern world. This is a complicated issue. The scientific works of Russian economist and author Dr. Aleksey Ryabinin provide strategies and answers to solve these problems. This is a key consideration for the Swiss Chamber of Commerce in The Netherlands to issue this year’s Dr. Jelle Zijlstra Awards in the field of Economic Development to Dr. Aleksey Ryabinin.