SPIEF 2012 – Overview of the Russian Davos

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Geopolitics and business

Many flaws can account for the Russian leadership agenda in last decade. But there are also some clear gains. Among them – the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg (SPIEF) – become a top event in the field and not by chance called Russian Davos. Until 2006 the Forum was conducted by the the Inter-parliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Federation Council of Russia; from 2006, in accordance with Presidential directive, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation has been responsible for the organization of the Forum.

The 16th edition of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the annual conference dedicated to economic and business issues that draws several thousand political and business leaders, leading scientists, and public figures from around the world, is held under the patronage of the President of Russia and runs June 21 to 23 2012. The forum’s theme of actual edition – “Leadership That Works.”

The program of SPIEF 2012  focus on the following key topics:

  • Securing the Future
  • Realizing Russia’s Potential
  • Leadership in Focus
  • Responding to Impact Technologies

Business round-tables: Arab World, CIS, EU, India, Turkey, USA, focus on the role of emerging economies in global governance, highlighting the strengths these promising economic powers can use to shape the international agenda. Also offer the global business, political and media community the opportunity to engage with the new Russian government and examine its modernization agenda.


Of course, investment in organizing such an event is not a minor, and earnings (not just those of the image) to match. Noticed: 39 agreements were signed during the first day of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, of which nine agreements/contracts were valued at a total of 292 billion, 218 million roubles. Among the agreements signed are: LUKOIL and the Italian company Enel signed a memorandum of co-operation in the gas industry. Vagit Alekperov, head of the largest section of the Russian gas company OAO LUKOIL, and Fulvio Conti, general manager and chief financial officer of the Italian company Enel, signed the memorandum of mutual understanding and co-operation in the gas industry according to the Russian company. OAO Sberbank of Russia and Bank of America Lynch signed Framework agreement on trade financing. Co-operation between Russian and US banks expands the opportunities for organizing financing of foreign trade turnover and promotes further development of a comprehensive proposal for corporate clients of Sberbank involved in foreign trade. Also, in the presence of Herman Gref, president, chairman of the management board of Sberbank of Russia, and Fred Hochberg, chairman of the management board, president of the US Export-Import Bank, an agreement was concluded on mutual understanding and implementation of a medium and long-term financing programme for Sberbank, as well as on guarantees and insurance of export credits in favour of third parties for financing export transactions from the USA with the participation of Sberbank clients.

Rosneft and Norwegian Statoil signed an agreement on participation in tenders on the Norwegian shelf and development of difficult reserves in Russia. Also Rosneft signed agreements with General Electric and Italian Company Eni.

Rosatom is prepared to invest in the construction of the third phase of the Temelin nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic, and Inter RAO has already sent specialists to discuss possible investment options in the new units, Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko said Thursday, Interfax reported.

…and not just business

Economic growth is impossible without a mature civil society, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin stated when addressing the St.Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on June 21. He added that the government is open for a dialogue as the interests of the majority should not hurt the rights of the minority. According Itar-Tass, Putin pledged that Russia will continue to further improve its democracy and the goal of any reforms is to improve people’s living standards. He also said that any politician shouldn’t forget about the rule of law as a desire of change is a driving force for progress but becomes counter-productive and dangerous if it threatens civil peace.

“Wealth is not what it is in your pocket; it’s what is in your head.” – Kamran Elahian, Chairman and Co-Founder of Global Catalyst Partners.

“Business is people. Business is human relationships, the ability to create a team around you that think the same way.” – Victor Vekselberg, president of Skolkovo Foundation

“We probably do need to see an adjustment by the Government toward 21st century standards.” – Andrei Shleifer, Professor, Harvard University


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