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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, Nov. 28


Join table-top game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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