The Center for Business Tendency Studies of the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, National Research University Higher School of Economics, presents an informational overview reflecting the trends in the activity of distance selling in the regions of the country, formed at the end of the second quarter of 2020 amid shock events caused by COVID-19. At the same time, a representative picture of the state of the digital climate of Russian IT companies engaged in the development of digital solutions in the field of e-commerce technologies in the final development dynamics for 2019 is presented. The results of regular business tendency monitoring of heads of retail organizations for the II quarter of 2019 and 2020, representing the average share of distance selling, were used as an empirical basis for measuring distance selling activity in the regional context. The data used are based on surveys of about 5 thousand heads of trade organizations in almost all constituent entities of the Russian Federation, conducted on a quarterly basis by the Federal State Statistics Service. Diagnostics of the digital climate of IT companies was based on the results of pilot business surveys of about 100 specially selected organizations from 30 regions of Russia, the areas of activity of which include developments in the field of e-commerce, annually conducted by the ANO IIC "Statistics of Russia" commissioned by the Center for Business Studies ISSEK NRU HSE. The results of both surveys involved are based on samples that are representative across all observation units, multidimensional, stratified, and representative for the main parameters of the Russian economy.
Assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on international institutions and international relations is essential for shaping global governance for the post COVID crisis world. The authors review the actions of the key international institutions in response to the pandemic undertaken in January-March 2020 reflecting on three questions. First, were the actions undertaken by the international institutions adequate, coordinated and timely? Second, could the outbreak have been contained if the global governance system was not in a state of severe strain, with many of the gaps exposed and reforms promised in the wake of the 2009 financial and economic crisis unfulfilled, its key causes unaddressed and unilateralism rising among its key members? In addition, was the COVID-19 crisis exacerbated by the crisis of multilateralism? Third, and most difficult, what is the future of global governance after the COVID-19 crisis ends? The analysis of international institutions performance three months into the crisis leads to authors to conclude that there have been inadequate actions to produce a timely, coordinated international response from all the major multilateral organizations and from the newer plurilateral summit institutions of the BRICS, G7 and G20. The failure of these global governance institutions was due not only to the severe strains from leading members’ unilateralism and competition, but from the very architecture designed in 1945 that now poorly matches intensely globalized world. Global governance in the post COVID world should not descend into the old war-prone balance of power, nor flow from a new Bretton Woods-San Francisco as in 1944–1945 but from an intensification and expansion of G20 governance that will generate and coordinate more comprehensive, stronger multilateral organizations for the benefit of all.