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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

Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.



Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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