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.
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.
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.
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.
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- Opening ceremony of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich
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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 / Vladimir Astapkovich
- Rostec pavilion© Sputnik / Maksim Blinov