MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), an annual gathering of political and business leaders, will open on Thursday for the 19th time.
The event will be held under the auspices of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The annual forum, first held in 1997, positions itself as a unique emerging economic powers' growth and stability network. It will last for three days, concluding on June 20.
"SPIEF gathers the leading decision-makers of the emerging economic powers to identify and deliberate the key challenges facing Russia, emerging markets, and the world at large, while engaging communities to find common purpose and establish frameworks to forge solutions which will drive the growth and stability agenda," the official website of the forum states.
Dozens of discussions, forums and round tables will be held during the three days of the SPIEF, with issues ranging from nuclear energy and transport to international trade, employment and hi-tech industries development.
Panel sessions of the BRICS business forum and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) business forum will be held on the first day of the SPIEF.
Exact figures for the number of participants in SPIEF 2015 is still unknown, but the 2014 forum welcomed more than 7,500 participants and almost 1,500 journalists from all over the world. Official delegations and businessmen from some 73 countries attended 82 special SPIEF events that year.