Ways to accelerate reforms and improve conditions for the transaction of business will be discussed here on Wednesday by participants in a session devoted to prospects for the development of the Russian economy, Arkady Dvorkovich, the leader of the Russian delegation and RF Vice-Premier, said here prior to the commencement of the main working day of the 44th session of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Dvorkovich said, “Such a (Russian) session was held last year as well. This year, emphasis will be laid on regional development and on the priority of the development of Russia’s regions”.

The Russia inside at the Davos forum is represented by Vice-Premier Dmitry Kozak, Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev, Tatarstan’s President Rustam Minnikhanov, Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov, RF sherpa Svetlana Lukash, and by a number of Deputy Ministers. “As usually isthe case, executives of a large number of Russian companies, both state-run and private-owned, will be present at the forum,” Dvorkovich pointed out.

“Our programme has been formed with an eye to areas of work which are of priority to us,” Dvorkovich related, saying that Vice-Premier Kozak, in particular, would hold meetings within the forum’s framework to propound the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi.

The WEF international agenda includes items concerning the work of the G20 and the BRICS association. Participants in the forum are also expected to discuss global energy security-related matters. “The leaders of the global energy market — both the private sector and (government) ministers — arrive at Davos. I shall also take part in the session,” Dvorkovich said. Those present at the session will consider basic orientations for energy development.

Klaus Schwab, the founder and president of WEF, said this year the Forum’s programme is to focus on four main themes: the impact of innovations on present-day life, prospects for global development, civil society’s participation in economic processes, and the “nine billion” issues connected with the growth of the Earth’s population.

Schwab said individual session would deal with the climate change problem, the future of health care, and matters regarding unemployment among young people. There will be discussions devoted to the economic development of China, India, Mexico, Brazil, and Russia. Meetings will focus on a search for solutions to problems in North Africa and in the Middle East.

Last week, WEF issued a study on global risks in the short- and long term. The study points out that the fiscal crisis in key economies, the shortage of drinking water, and unemployment will remain the basic problems. The study singles out the problem relating to the widening gap in the incomes of the population. The document emphasizes that this may undermine the positions of the middle class — the mainstay of stable economies — by reducing the number of its members to a critical level.

The first ten risks, according to WEF, also include climate change, cyber attacks, food crisis, natural calamities and technogenic disasters, a high political and social instability, and setbacks in financial and institutional mechanisms.

An ice-hockey match between delegations’ representatives will be for the first time played on the sidelines of the Davos forum. This sports meet will involve both the chiefs of large multinational companies and officials. “There will be no time, it seems, for skiing. However, for the first time an ice hockey match will be played between participants in the Davos economic forum. Officials and the executives of large multinational companies will take part in the match,” Dvorkovich related. His opinion is that the holding of such a sports event on the eve of the Olympics, which , which are officially supported by the Davos forum, will be quite appropriate.

“I do not yet know how teams will be formed and on which principles. If we manage to field a full-fledged Russian team, no questions will arise, I think,” Dvorkovich remarked in response to a question as to which team he personally would like to play for. He specified that there are several persons among the Russian delegation who play ice hockey quite well.

The air space above Davos will be closed to air traffic for the duration of the forum. All flying vehicles within a 46-km no-fly zone, will be intercepted by Swiss Air Force planes.