|Russian Innovation Must Start With the President, Chubais Says|
|February 04, 2010|
By Yuriy Humber
Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Anatoly Chubais, chief executive officer of state-run Russian Nanotechnologies Corp., or Rosnano, speaks on innovation, European Central Bank President Jean- Claude Trichet’s success in regulation, and Russia’s electricity market.
He spoke in Russian in an interview in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 30, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.
On Russia’s push in innovations:
“Russia’s task is to become diversified within 10 years. I think we have every chance of achieving it.”
“I was recently told that we must understand that innovation is not something that can be ordered from the top by the President. And, yes, that’s true. But in Russian conditions, without a presidential order it won’t happen either.”
“At Rosnano, we’re working on a project called the Green Corridor, which will recommend changes in the customs law, tax law, currency regulations to allow innovative technology to bypass our bureaucratic processes and enter Russia. This would apply to all hi-tech, not just nanotechnology.”
On innovative products from Russia:
“We don’t have a goal of coming up with a flashy consumer product. The priority is the scope of the markets which we are opening with the new products. We just need to grab markets, whatever they are.”
On European Central Bank:
“If we didn’t have a euro-zone last year, by now we would have seen several countries default. The fallout from the crisis would have been much harsher. Even if the European Central Bank has said that it won’t specifically help Greece, the country has benefited significantly from being under the umbrella of the EU and the ECB.”
“In my mind, the actions of Trichet and the ECB prove that an international regulator can be logical, balanced and smart. You could say that this kind of international regulator Europe tried out on itself and is now ready to offer the world as a model. A global regulator is unavoidable, very necessary, and highly dangerous, because mistakes of such a regulator would cost the world a lot.”
On Russia’s power industry since the break-up of OAO Unified Energy Systems, the national utility, in 2008. Chubais was CEO of Unified Energy:
“There’s a great deal of upset about the power sector allegedly being taken over by state companies, but there’s no reason for it as yet.
“I’m still disappointed by the fact that we didn’t sell the OGK-1 generating unit. We did find a buyer willing to pay more than $5 billion for it but this happened in June and within a month Unified Energy broke up. After that other people were responsible for the sale and they decided it was not necessary to conclude that deal. With OGK-1’s major investment needs, its transfer to the state-run OAO Inter RAO UES was the inevitable consequence of that decision.
“If Inter RAO acquires more operating power plants, rather than builds its own and completes OGK-1’s investment program, then I see a strategic mistake.”
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