Approaching International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg (By Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Planning to go to the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). It is a huge annual international conference on economic and business issues, held under the auspices of the President of the Russian Federation. The next Forum will be held on June 16 to 18 under the theme “Capitalizing on the New Global Economic Reality”.
The Forum’s main event will be the plenary session on 17 June, which will include addresses by President Vladimir Putin, and President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic Matteo Renzi. The discussions will focus on five major topics: “Sustaining Economic Expansion”, “Realizing the Economic Potential of Russia”, “New Geo-Economic Dynamics”, “Navigating Revolutions in Technology” and “The Human Dimension”.
The business programme will be marked by a range of international events. Currently, more than 70 events have been scheduled. These will encompass a number of different formats, including the plenary session, panel sessions, round table discussions, business breakfasts, and TV debates. There will be an SCO Business Forum, a BRICS Business Forum, and a G20 Business Forum, as well as the Global Energy Awards Ceremony and the Energy Summit. A special session of the Valdai Club and events in the Conversations with the Extraordinary series are also scheduled. The Conference on the Economic Development of the Arctic will be held at the Forum for the first time. The second Russian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Forum will be held on June 15, the day before SPIEF’s launch. The Forum will also host two exhibitions: “Investment Projects” and “Business Expo”, which will showcase products and services designed to facilitate business operations.
Over the past two decades, the SPIEF has become a leading international platform for open discussion of key economic issues facing Russia and global economy between emerging and developed markets, official authorities, civil society, academia and business. The conference traditionally attracts over 10000 international and Russian participants. More than 200 speakers and moderators confirmed their participation in this year’s Forum including heads of state and government, prominent Russian and international public figures and politicians, ministers, heads of government agencies, a number of leading Russian economists and businesspeople, as well as major figures from international organizations and large international businesses. This year, the SPIEF programme will pay special attention to the development of mechanisms to help solve the most pressing economic issues in Russia and the wider world.
The Forum is open to all participants, who are interested in constructive discussion, who are ready to hear and take into account different opinions and who are searching for consensus solutions to the pressing international and regional economic issues. We are standing today on the threshold of a new global economic reality and we hope the Forum could help us find the right direction.