By Kester Kenn Klomegah
In his message greetings to participants, organizers and guests of the 24th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF’21) that opens on June 2-5, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized that Moscow is interested in closer economic, scientific, and technical cooperation with its foreign partners and ready to share experience in various areas.
While expressing Russia’s readiness and interests in strengthening closer economic cooperation with foreign partners, the Russian president further urged willing parties to build equal, constructive partnerships between members of the global community and expand business ties on a number of levels to effectively tackle the current critical global challenges and achieve sustainable development.
“We are ready to share our experience in areas such as healthcare and digitalization and to work with partners to build better telecommunications, energy, and transport infrastructure. We also recognize the importance of addressing key issues facing the environment and climate,” according to the president’s message released on the official website.
Speaking about the participation of public officials and heads of largest corporations and banks, Putin emphasized the need for open, constructive dialogue to overcome the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, which has severely restricted international ties.
“Other socioeconomic issues such as poverty relief, improving education opportunities, expanding employment and prospects for labour markets, as well as addressing violations of fair competition principles also require careful attention,” he added.
Putin will speak at the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on June 4, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters ahead of the forum opening and added that Putin would also take part in the ensuing discussion.
“There will be a speech by the President at the plenary session and then a moderated discussion with the participation of the Emir of Qatar [Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani] and Chancellor of Austria [Sebastian Kurz],” Peskov said.
Ahead of the opening, the SPIEF’21 group of experts from the leading Russian and foreign universities, scientific institutions, reputable rating agencies, and consulting companies have prepared and released special research and analytical reports on the business agenda. The reports generally reflected the theme, and deal with the renewal of the economy and social life, the overcoming of the challenges of the post-pandemic world order.
St. Petersburg State University of Economics is traditionally interested in business dialogue and advanced educational technologies and is ready to share the experience it has accumulated. The university will be represented by more than 40 experts at the forum.
The largest delegations are from the United States, Qatar and China. According to documents, about 2,000 foreign participants are in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). There are also delegations from Germany, France and Italy.
Qatar mounts the biggest cultural and arts stand. It has prepared a large-scale business program, which will be presented at the national pavilion of Qatar.
On the territory, the Doha Hall is a space where the heads of ministries and departments, heads of key companies of the country, representatives of public organizations will discuss the strengthening of economic and political relations between states, business and cultural ties, cooperation in the field of ecology and nature protection, sports and innovation, health care and information technology.
It comes, this year, under the theme Together Again – Economy of New Reality and more than a hundred discussion panels and sessions are planned. Most importantly, the forum is organized with strict adherence to safety measures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus. These measures worked out by the steering committee within the requirements set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In order to ensure the safety of all participants, PCR testing is carried out exclusively at specialized centres designated by the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor).
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, popularly referred to as SPIEF, brings together international business leaders, government officials and representatives of expert and media communities to discuss various topics and jointly search for effective solutions to the most pressing challenges in Russian and global economies.
The SPIEF is held annually, and since 2006 it has been held under patronage and with the participation of the President of the Russian Federation.