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SPIEF Hit With Attendance Drop

Published: May 22, 2014 (Issue # 1811)



  • Despite the recent number of cancellations, the forum will still host over 6,500 participants at the Lenexpo center.
    Photo: for SPT

Despite a number of cancellations, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will still host more than 6,500 participants led by an impressive number of high-ranking representatives from some of the world’s leading companies.

Christophe de Margerie, CEO of energy giant Total SA, confirmed last week that he will visit the forum at the annual meeting of the company’s shareholders in Paris, saying that he had attended nearly all the past economic forums in St. Petersburg and would not ignore the upcoming one.

“Going away from politics is a good method to calm the situation down to some extent,” de Margerie said, Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei radio station reported. Olaf G. Koch, CEO of Metro AG Germany, also confirmed his attendance.

The list of other VIPs who have confirmed their attendance includes Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen, President and CEO of Carlsberg Group, Donald James Umpleby III, Group President of Caterpillar Inc., Franck Riboud, Chairman and CEO of Danone, and Kim Jung Rae, President and Chief Operating Officer of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd.

Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips Electronics NV, Robert Dudley, Group Chief Executive Officer of BP Plc, and Mike Nolte, Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Russia SAO will also attend the forum.

However, Russians will make up the majority of the number attending with Russian President Vladimir Putin leading the forum.

Other leading Russian businessmen scheduled to attend include Oleg Deripaska, Chairman of the Management Board and General Director of UC RUSAL, which produces aluminum, German Gref, President and Chairman of the Management Board of Sberbank, Andrey Akimov, Chairman of the Management Board of Gazprombank OJSC, and Vagit Alekperov, President of Lukoil and others.

In total, over 6,500 official delegations from 62 countries will take part in the forum. The forum will also host 146 heads of the largest foreign companies in the world and 450 leading Russian companies, St. Petersburg governor Georgy Poltavchenko said, reported Rossiiskaya Gazeta .

Poltavchenko also said out of those who applied to participate and confirmed their attendance, 70 percent were from Europe and the U.S.

Despite hosting more than 6,500 people, with 25 percent of them being journalists, the number of participants in this year’s forum is still smaller than last year, when the event saw 7,190 people in attendance, including 176 heads of the biggest foreign companies and 436 Russian companies. Approximately 102 agreements amounting to a total of 9.6 trillion rubles ($276.3 billion) were signed at last year’s forum, reported Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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