Under the special patronage of the President of the Russian Federation, the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum brings together over 2,500 political and business leaders from around the world, joined by leading voices from academia, civil society and the media to discuss and deliberate the key issues facing Russia and the world.
The agenda of the first day ( were reserved Business Round Table that have addressed Russian relations with major trading partners (Europe, USA, India and CIS countries). Panelists discussed what is needed for a decisive acceleration of trade and economic cooperation and how the implementation of joint “break-through” projects can be promoted, the importance of updating of contract law as it pertains to bilateral commercial relations and the potential role of development institutions spurring investment cooperation.
Today, participants and media attention turned to the speech by President Dmitry Medvedev said at the opening plenary session on “The World under change”. “Russia needs a real investment boom” said President Medvedev. He spoke that creating suitable conditions for investors is, in effect, Russian authorities most important goal. “Today we are putting this goal at the center of our activities”. The President said the country has been firmly set on an economic modernisation course now, with the Presidential Commission for Modernisation and Technological Development of Russia’s Economy promoting actively the priority areas of energy efficiency, outer space, nuclear energy, and medical and information technology. But Medvedev stopped short of addressing Russia’s endemic ills such as corruption, bureaucracy and the judicial system, which investors point to as the main obstacles to doing business in Russia.To this end, Medvedev said that starting next year Russia will scrap the capital gains tax on long-term direct investment — an announcement his audience applauded. (Full speeach of President Medvedev can be read here).
The agenda of the second day of the meeting also took place Presentation of tourist development plan area Northern Caucasus. The project “North Caucasus Resorts“, which joins several ski complexes in Krasnodar territory, Dagestan, North Ossetia, Karachay-Cherkessia, Adygeya and Kabardino-Balkaria was presented during the discussion. The instruments for the project realization and the effect of applying them in tourism development in Russia are important parts of the proposed plan since spring this year by Alexander Khloponin, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Plenipotentiary Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation Federal District to the North Caucasian. Although, when its design was announced, that plan seemed to be the “crown jewel” that Russia wanted to present in the current edition of SPEIF, the resurgence of terrorist attacks in recent months in the Caucasus have made it to be presented in small format, even modestly, while the amount invested is expected to be considerable – $ 15 billion. (Recall that the terrorist attacks in Moscow in March 2010 aimed to discredit Russian authorities and the Security Forces in the context of the Sochi Olympics, and hence the area development plan for this event. I explained it here). Furthermore, President Medvedev left the hall after the opening speech utterance.