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Minister Assures City on Track for SPIEF

Published: April 30, 2014 (Issue # 1808)



  • Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev addresses the media at SPIEFs Apr. 23 press conference.
    Photo: SPIEF

Alexei Ulyukayev, Chairman of the Organizing Committee and the Russian Minister of Economic Development, told assembled media members at a press conference on Apr. 23 that he remains convinced all preparations for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, or SPIEF, in May will be ready. He also addressed the current political and economic atmosphere, acknowledging that it may influence the event.

During the conference, Ulyukayev emphasized that strengthening ties in the business world and fostering greater trust will be a key component of the event, echoing its stated theme, Sustaining Confidence in a World Undergoing Transformation.

Sergei Belyakov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, and Anatoly Kotov, Chair of the St. Petersburg Committee for Economic Policy and Strategic Planning, also fielded questions about the citys preparations for the upcoming event.

The forum, which starts May 22, will welcome 142 senior executives from international businesses as well as 115 senior executives from Russian companies for three days of panels and roundtables. However, Ulyukayev emphasized that the forum is not meant to solve vital political issues but rather strengthen business ties.

There are certain risks, to the extent that we are holding the event not in a very favorable geopolitical environment, Ulyukayev said before adding, but weve been very attentive.

Despite frosty political relations between Russia and the West, Ulyukayev stated that the number of companies and participants that have confirmed their participation has in fact risen. During this point last year, 693 participants had confirmed their attendance, while this year, 734 companies have sent in confirmations. The number of senior executives attending has also increased from 2013, with 561 already confirmed.

Goldman Sachs, British Petroleum, CitiBank, Siemens and Hyundai are some of the confirmed foreign companies that will be in attendance this year. Individuals who will be present include Alisher Usmanov, General Director of Gazprom and Russias wealthiest man, Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens AG, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, CEO of Telenor Group, and Vagit Alekperov, President of Lukoil.

Three heads of government, four foreign ministers and five foreign cabinet members are slated to attend as well, although Ulyukayev was unable to provide any names at the time.

Although there will be no specific discussion about the Crimeas addition to the Russian Federation and how this may affect the economy, Ulyukayev admitted that it would likely be a topic brought up during discussions in the other events.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Oct. 30


Dental-Expo St. Petersburg 2014 concludes today at Lenexpo. Welcoming specialists from throughout the federation, the forum is an opportunity for dentists to share tricks of the trade and peruse the most recent innovations in technology and equipment, with over 100 companies hocking their wares at the event.



Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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