The 26th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum was held from 14 to 17 June. Over the four days, more than 17,000 participants from 130 countries took part in the SPIEF events in both offline and online formats.
The Forum’s central event was its plenary session, attended as usual by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian head of state focused on the economy, the special military operation, and aggressive actions by the West. The Forum’s plenary session was also attended by Abdelmadjid Tebboune, President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.
The honorary status of guest country was accorded this year to the United Arab Emirates, whose delegation was headed by UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
In line with the Forum's main theme – “Sovereign Development as the Basis of a Just World: Joining Forces for Future Generations” – the discussions centred on unifying agenda.
Numerous discussions were structured into five thematic blocks: “The World Economy at a Global Turning Point”, “The Russian Economy: From Adaptation to Growth”, “Building Technological Sovereignty”, “Protecting the Population and Quality of Life as the Main Priority” and “The Labour Market: A Response to the New Challenges”.
More than 200 events took place at the Forum’s sectoral and thematic platforms as part of the business programme. During the four days, more than 1,500 moderators, experts and speakers, including foreign ones, spoke on issues ranging from socio-economic development, the environment, healthcare, transport, culture and tourism to education and science.
The SPIEF business programme was accompanied by:
- SME Forum
- Drug Security Forum
- Creative Business Forum
- International Youth Economic Forum
- Press events and signing of agreements
The Forum's business programme was also presented in the areas of the Forum's partners VEB.RF and Sber, as well as in the thematic areas of the Forum venue: Innovation Space, VinoGrad, Governors’ Club, Roscongress Club, Roscongress Urban Hub, Social Platform, Russian Design Space, Healthy Life Area, Arctic: Territory of Dialogue, ‘Society, Education, Technology, Youth’, SPIEF Academy, and SPIEF Junior.
Among the high-level visitors who came to St. Petersburg were the Presidents of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, the Republic of Armenia, and South Ossetia, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Cuba, and over 150 top officials, including heads of international organizations and associations, foreign ministers and heads of diplomatic missions.
The biggest delegations were from the UAE, China, India, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Cuba and the United States. More than 6,000 representatives of Russian and foreign businesses from over 3,000 companies located in 75 countries and territories took part in the Forum.
The Forum events were covered by almost 4,000 media representatives from Russia and elsewhere.
Forum guests were treated to more than 50 events, including the St. Petersburg Seasons Festival of Culture, Art Fair 1703, classical music concerts, the Sails of Kronstadt Festival, and the exhibition “The Terracotta Army. China’s Immortal Warriors.”
The highlight of the St Petersburg Seasons festival was the “Rock over the Neva” concert on Palace Square on 16 June, which brought together some 45,000 spectators, including Forum participants, residents and visitors to the city. The concert headliner was the band Chizh & Co. A special guest was the band Django with Alexey Poddubny.
This year’s programme of sporting events was significantly expanded and carried out on a qualitatively new level. The SPIEF sports games were held in two cities in 18 sports.
More than 900 agreements worth a total of RUB 3.860 billion were signed at the Forum (including 43 agreements with representatives of foreign companies, among them two with Italy and Spain. This figure only includes the agreements whose value is not a commercial secret). The top three regions of the Russian Federation in terms of total value of agreements signed are the Leningrad Region (30 agreements worth over RUB 900 billion), St. Petersburg (over 50 agreements worth over RUB 414 billion), and Krasnodar Region (24 agreements worth over RUB 331 billion). The biggest number of agreements was signed in industry and construction (206), regional social and economic development (185), and international and interregional cooperation (85).