PR agency KaiserCommunication invited journalists from Germany, Austria, France, Italy, USA, UK, Iran, Portugal, Colombia, Serbia, Israel and other countries to attend the 6th International Media Forum "It's Time for Moscow".
The Conference was held by the Moscow City Department for External Economic and International Relations on 23-26th July. The main focus this year was "Smart city". More than 100 journalists from 34 countries took part.
"Moscow is the driving economic force of Russia’s development and a rapidly growing macroeconomic region," said Sergey Cheryomin, Moscow City Minister and Head of the Department for External Economic and International Relations, in his opening speech. "Literally in a few years, the city has improved its rating in the “Business” category by almost 100 positions. Now we are ranging in 35th place. We have very ambitious goals for the near future," he said. "Today, the capital has a well-balanced, practically deficit-free budget, which is extremely uncharacteristic for megacities," the minister stressed.
Mr. Cheryomin underlined the importance of city projects, in particular, "My Street", "Million Trees", the portal "Active citizen", the park "Zaryadye", the development of car sharing systems and initiatives to improve the usage of space on the Moscow River banks. "The implementation of projects such as "Safe City", the intelligent transport system, the EMIA medical system, Moscow eSchool and others resonated very well with citizens and experts," the minister emphasized.
"Thanks to the creation of a modern infrastructure and a favorable business climate, Moscow has come out on top in world ratings on indicators such as urban environment creation, human capital, and the digital economy in only a few years. The city ranks first among the Russian regions in public-private partnership projects, first among the Eastern European cities regarding economic and infrastructure development and first in the world concerning the organization of paid parking spaces", said Cheryomin.
The Moscow City Minister and Head of the Department of Information Technologies, Artem Ermolaev, informed participants about the introduction of new information services for Muscovites. He noted that among other things, the city had reconstructed more than 300 parks equipped with Wi-Fi. "There are more than 2 000 free wireless Internet hotspots in Moscow, there is free Internet in all of Moscow's public transport, and the cost of Internet access is eight times lower than in New York City,” the minister said.
Mr. Ermolaev laid out his plans to improve car and taxi services in Moscow. Furthermore, he showed how all social projects in Moscow were digitized. "Today, Moscow ranks first in the world regarding the development of electronic services for citizens and businesses, surpassing London, New York, and Paris. Digital medical services, artificial intelligence and blockbuster technologies are rapidly evolving", the minister said. According to him, digital technologies help with creating transparency in many socio-economic processes as well as with building an environment of equal opportunities.
Alexey Pogonin, Deputy Head of the Moscow Health Department, spoke about the development of the EMIA medical system. He noted that "Smart city" involves the use of digital technologies in the diagnosis, treatment, and service of patients. Currently, 98 percent of patients can register with a local doctor or pediatrician for the same day or the day after. Optimization of appointments was largely enabled by EMIA. Today, more than seven million Muscovites already have electronic medical records. "Telemedicine, computer vision for medicine and digital education are actively growing in the city. All of this helps us to detect and diagnose dangerous diseases in patients in the early stages and to select methods of treatment accordingly", Mr. Pogonin noted.
Moscow City Minister and Head of the Regional Security and Anti-Corruption Department, Vladimir Chernikov, spoke about the multi-level and multifunctional security system that was in place in Moscow during the World Cup. "Moscow today meets all international security standards. The championships have become a certain test for us and a criterion for evaluating our activities. More than 100 000 people came to the fan area, some with infants. Everyone understood that the situation was under control, and we did not disappoint the fans", he said.
Nikolai Gulyaev, Head of the Moscow Department of Sports and Tourism, presented the participants with a roundup of the FIFA World Cup. He called the recent championships successful and said the fans brought additional revenues of 14.8 billion rubles.
Alexander Polyakov, Director of the State Bank "MosTransProekt", spoke about transport logistics during the World Cup as well as infrastructure development in the context of "Smart city". The transport industry now plays an essential part in the megalopolis’ future. Conditions of extreme population density made it impossible over the past few years to build about 700 kilometers of highways, complex transport interchanges, and to introduce an intelligent transport system for managing the metropolis. The construction of 200 kilometers of roads is planned in order to improve the smart control and telemonitoring system. It is expected that until 2020, private investment in transport infrastructure will amount to 18.2 billion US dollars, which will allow the construction of 255 large interchange nodes to combine both public and private transport into a single system.
The second session of the forum was devoted to the development of international business in Moscow and brought together representatives of Russian and foreign business circles. The session was introduced by Alexis Rodzianko, President of the American Chamber of Commerce, who spoke about the growth of American companies in Russia. Konstantin Polunin, a representative of Boston Consulting Group, reported on Moscow's competitive positions in the context of international business development. Further speakers were Deputy Director of the Italian Institute of Foreign Trade, Giuseppe Russo, Managing Director of Kroll Russia and the CIS, Alessandro Volchich and the Vice President of AccorHotels East Alistair, Robertson Watts.