27th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum kicks off

Banners promoting the 2024 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum are seen at St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 4, 2024. /CFP

Banners promoting the 2024 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum are seen at St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 4, 2024. /CFP

The 27th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) opened on Wednesday in Russia’s second-largest city, St. Petersburg.

Under the main theme of “The formation of new areas of growth as the cornerstone of a multipolar world,” this year’s forum is attended by representatives of more than 130 countries and regions, according to the forum’s organizer.

“Russia is open to constructive dialogue and interaction with its partners and is willing to work together to solve the economic, social, scientific and technological problems of our time,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his congratulatory message to the forum.

The four-day forum will feature more than 400 business events, including seminars, dialogues and panel discussions, covering topics ranging from world economic transition to advanced technology development.

2024 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum participants converse at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 5, 2024. /CFP

2024 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum participants converse at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 5, 2024. /CFP

Since its inception in 1997, SPIEF has evolved into a renowned global platform for the business community to discuss critical economic issues facing Russia and the world.

More than 6,000 Russian and foreign business representatives from over 3,000 companies in 75 countries and territories took part in the forum last year, and over 900 agreements worth a total of 3,860 billion rubles (around $43.2 billion) were signed.

“The current dynamics of business activity of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum fully reflects the structural and economic changes that have taken place in Russia as a result of consolidation and mobilization of efforts of the state authorities, business and society, with the direct support of the scientific community,” Anton Kobyakov, adviser to the Russian president and executive secretary of the organizing committee of the forum was quoted as saying by its official website. 

“The unprecedented interest from foreign partners and the media shows that the Russian market and, in general, Russia’s economic model of development and consolidation, against the backdrop of serious restrictions and pressure from the collective West, has shown its competitiveness. Multinational and multicultural, value-oriented Russia is becoming one of the growth centers of the emerging multipolar world,” the executive secretary said.