All You Need to Know About St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF)

© Sputnik / Alexei Danichev / Go to the mediabankThe Expoforum pavilions and hotels prior to the 2017 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF)
The Expoforum pavilions and hotels prior to the 2017 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) - Sputnik International
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The 21st annual International Economic Forum in Russia’s city of St. Petersburg, abbreviated as SPIEF, kicks off on Thursday at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Center and will last for three days.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The SPIEF is a leading international business event and platform for discussing key economic issues in Russia, emerging economies and the world as a whole. The forum’s attendance is estimated at nearly 10,000 participants from Russia and other countries, including heads of state and government, corporate leaders, as well as representatives from the research and media communities and civil society institutions.

An information stand with the logo of the 2017 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) - Sputnik International
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The forum was initiated to promote a constructive dialogue to develop mutual understanding and create the basis for common decisions and actions.

The concept for the forum was proposed by the Federation Council, which is the upper house of Russia’s parliament, and the Commonwealth of Independent State (CIS) Inter-Parliamentary Assembly. In May 1997, it was approved by Russia’s then-President Boris Yeltsin.

Initially, the forum was intended to become the analog of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos for the CIS countries, focused on the economic and geopolitical development of the member states.

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The first SPIEF was held on June 18−20, 1997. Over 1,500 people attended the event, including heads of state and government from the CIS countries and Russian regions, representatives of banks and financial organizations, businesspeople and public figures. They discussed ways to attract investment and boost economic cooperation between Russia and other CIS countries with the global leaders’ financial and industrial companies.

In 1998, Yeltsin signed a directive making the St. Petersburg forum an annual event. In 2001, the forum was declared the main economic event in the CIS. From 2005, it has been held under the auspices of and attended by the president of Russia.

Between 1997 and 2006, SPIEF was organized by the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and the Federation Council of Russia’s parliament with support from the Russian government and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In 2006, the Russian Ministry of Economic Development took over as forum organizer.

The Organizing Committee of the forum was established under the presidential executive order of January 22, 2008. The SPIEF Organizing Committee was chaired by the Economic Development Minister of Russia.

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From 2014, the post of chair of the SPIEF Organizing Committee was turned over to Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Government Executive Office Sergei Prikhodko.

The Roscongress Foundation (the St. Petersburg Economic Forum International Foundation until December 2015) is responsible for organizational and logistics matters at the SPIEF.

Between 1997 and 2005, the SPIEF was held in St. Petersburg’s Tauride Palace, and between 2006 and 2015 at the Lenexpo Exhibition Complex.

In 2016, the SPIEF was moved to the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre, which opened in October 2014.

The forum is held in the form of panel sessions, roundtable discussions, exhibitions, investment project presentations, business meetings and talks. Its working languages are Russian and English.

SPIEF has recently developed from a domestic event into a respected and highly representative international platform.

The 20th St. Petersburg forum in 2016 was attended by over 12,000 participants from 133 countries, including over 40 Russian and 60 foreign dignitaries, and CEOs from some 600 Russian and 300 foreign corporations. The SPIEF 2016 program included over 300 events, such as BRICS, SCO and Business 20 (B20) business council sessions, a meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, awards ceremonies for the Global Energy Prize and Development Award, a summit meeting of energy companies, and much more. The key event in 2016 was a panel session titled Capitalizing on the New Global Economic Reality, which was broadcast by 86 international television networks, including SPIEF sponsors CNBC, Bloomberg, CCTV and CNN. As many as 356 agreements valued at over 1 trillion rubles (approximately $17.6 billion) were signed at the forum.

The cultural program of SPIEF 2016 included 67 cultural and sports events such as theatrical performances, concerts, exhibitions, hockey and tennis tournaments, a charity race and much more.

In 2017, the SPIEF is held under the slogan "Achieving a New Balance in the Global Economic Arena."

Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency is the official media partner of the forum.

© Sputnik / Iliya Pitalev / Go to the mediabankThe business roundtable discussion, Russian-Bangladesh: An Era of New Opportunities, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Russia-Bangladesh: An Era of New Opportunities roundtable discussion at SPIEF - Sputnik International
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The business roundtable discussion, Russian-Bangladesh: An Era of New Opportunities, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
© REUTERS / Grigory DukorRussian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi attend a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2016 (SPIEF 2016) in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 17, 2016
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi attend a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2016 (SPIEF 2016) in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 17, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi attend a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2016 (SPIEF 2016) in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 17, 2016
© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich / Go to the mediabankThe opening of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Opening ceremony of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum - Sputnik International
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The opening of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
© Sputnik / Maksim Blinov / Go to the mediabankAn advertising billboard with symbols of the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Preparations for St. Petersburg International Economic Forum's opening - Sputnik International
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An advertising billboard with symbols of the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich / Go to the mediabankU.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at the opening ceremony of the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. (File)
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at the opening ceremony of the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. (File) - Sputnik International
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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at the opening ceremony of the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. (File)
© Sputnik / Maksim Blinov / Go to the mediabankRostec pavilion at the SPIEF Investment & Business Expo at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Rostec pavilion - Sputnik International
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Rostec pavilion at the SPIEF Investment & Business Expo at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
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The business roundtable discussion, Russian-Bangladesh: An Era of New Opportunities, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi attend a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2016 (SPIEF 2016) in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 17, 2016
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The opening of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
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An advertising billboard with symbols of the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at the opening ceremony of the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. (File)
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Rostec pavilion at the SPIEF Investment & Business Expo at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

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