Global Rus Trade Holds Expert Session “BRICS: Economic Agenda for Inclusive Growth” 

01 March 2019
Russia, Russia

On March 1, in Novokuznetsk, on the margins of the International Women’s Forum, an expert session “BRICS: economic agenda for inclusive growth in the digitalization era” was held. 

Speakers of the meeting were Natalya Strigunova, Deputy Director of the Department for Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, Eunisi Cruz, President of the National Federation of Brazilian Business and Professional Women’s Associations of Brazil, Sonwen Van, Director General of Fruit South Africa, Founding President Women’s associations in technology, business, and eMERG services Uma Reddy and other speakers. The moderator was Anna Nesterova, founder and chairperson of the board of directors of Global Rus Trade, head of the working group on digital economy from Russia of the BRICS Business Council. 

Experts discussed prospects for increasing women’s participation in e-commerce and digital economy in the BRICS countries. 

Anna Nesterova noted that one of the goals of women’s economic empowerment is to involve women’s business in global value chains using digital tools, which could be one of the additional sources of growth. According to McKinsey, if women participated in economic processes on an equal basis with men, this would increase world GDP by 26% or 28 trillion dollars. On the contrary, gender discrimination will lead to a loss of 16% of world income, according to OECD experts. 

Natalya Strigunova spoke about the projects and programs of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia aimed at supporting and promoting women, women’s entrepreneurship, in BRICS and at other international platforms. 

Uma Reddy shared her experience in developing female entrepreneurship in India. The association, which Uma heads, serves as a professional community for women and conducts training both for the unemployed population from rural regions and advanced training courses for the employed. 

Eunisi Cruz paid special attention to state and non-state support programs that are being implemented in Brazil in order to increase women’s participation in the economy. For example, the Brazilian Association for the Promotion of Exports and Investments is implementing the project “Women in Exports” in order to strengthen the economic integration of women. 

Sonwen Van in her speech noted that the new technologies of the digital economy provide equal opportunities for women in traditionally male industries, for example, in shipping. China COSCO Shipping Group is the largest integrated shipping company in the world. According to the expert, the success of the corporation would not have been achieved without the joint efforts of the order of 20,000 women employed in the enterprise. 

Konanani Liphadzi focused on the possibilities of the digital economy for people living in remote and rural regions of South Africa. The speaker mentioned that the use of virtual and augmented reality will improve the quality of teaching and learning, and analyzing big data will help determine the individual needs of students in the learning process. 

In conclusion, Anna Nesterova noticed that Novokuznetsk became a point of attraction not only for women entrepreneurs of Siberia, the Far East, but also for the whole world: representatives of about 15 countries took part in the Forum, discussing the most important and acute topics. All proposals and initiatives put forward by our BRICS partners closely correlate with each other.