MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. On May 24-26, 2018, the 22nd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will be held. French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President of the Central African Republic Faustin-Archange Touadera and other high-ranking guests are expected to attend the event.
Over its entire history (since 1998), 35 leaders of foreign states from 30 countries have taken part in the SPIEF.
The first foreign head of state who attended the forum in 1998 was Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (he later visited the SPIEF in 2007 and 2008). Among the G20 leaders who took part in the forum were French President Nicolas Sarkozy (2010), Chinese Presidents Hu Jintao (2011) and Xi Jinping (2015), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2013), Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (2016) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (2017).
Frequent guests of the SPIEF were Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (2005, 2007-2009) and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev (2007, 2008, 2011 and 2016). Finland’s presidents also visited the forum four times - Tarja Halonen three times (2006, 2009 and 2011) and Sauli Niinisto once (2012).
The highest number of foreign guests - 12 - were present at the SPIEF in 2008, when the summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States was held in the framework of the forum. Besides the CIS leaders, Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski came to St. Petersburg.
Last year, the SPIEF was attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Moldovan President Igor Dodon, South Ossetian President Anatony Bibilov, Abkhazian President Raul Khajimba and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern. Among other guests were UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Managing Director (MD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde and Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Mohammed Barkindo.