The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will be held on May 24–26, 2018. The key theme of SPIEF 2018 is ‘Building a Trust Economy’.
“The President set the goal of increasing the growth rate in the Russian economy to a level higher than the global average. To accomplish this, investments should amount to 25–27% of GDP. This is a complex task that requires the systemic development of infrastructure and export capabilities, the creation of new convenient financial instruments, the substantial simplification of administrative procedures, and predictable macroeconomic conditions. However, this will not be sufficient if the trust between the public, business, and the government does not attain a qualitatively new level,” Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin said. “Therefore ‘Building a Trust Economy’ – the main theme selected for this year’s Forum – reflects one of the most important tasks we face today,” he said.
Russian Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina believes: “The Forum’s central theme of a ‘Trust Economy’ implies a dialogue on how to resolve contradictions that reduce the potential for global growth: from inequality to resurgent protectionism, while seeking answers to shared challenges: technological, demographic, energy-related, and others. The main theme of the Russian agenda is economic growth in new conditions. The ramifications of the crisis have been overcome, and the Russian economy has returned to positive growth. The parameters of the new growth model are now being shaped. The conditions that the government can create for effective and innovative businesses and the industries and technologies that we are relying on right now depend on whether we will be able to unleash the potential of the Russian economy.
The theme of trust is particularly relevant for sessions devoted to the development of the financial system. Economic growth requires financial resources, and the effectiveness of financial intermediation as a whole and the development of long-term money institutions are impossible without trust between economic agents and trust in institutions. Factors that contribute to growing trust in the financial system include the integrity of participants, healthy competition, and the protection of the rights of depositors and shareholders. These and related themes will be actively discussed at the Forum.”
Discussions within the framework of the business programme will be held in four thematic areas:
The thematic block ‘The Global Economy in an Era of Change’ will touch upon all aspects of economic relations in the changing world – from demographics and solving problems of social inequality to the development of energy and the application of new technologies in agribusiness. It will also focus on an economy of joint consumption, the economics of Global Oceans as well as charity and philanthropy.
Participants in the ‘Harnessing Russia’s Growth Potential’ block will discuss the main challenges facing the country’s economy, the export potential of Russia’s creative industries, and ways to obtain leading positions in global technological and energy sectors. In addition, the results of the Russian Regional Investment Climate Index will be announced, and the ‘Idea for a Million’ session devoted to a contest of start-ups will be held.
Discussions about the impact of new technologies on all spheres of life will be held as part of the thematic block ‘Technology for Leadership’. The participants will discuss the use of artificial intelligence in the real sector, the use of blockchain technology in management and business, the construction of digital infrastructure, gene therapy, and breakthrough technologies in medicine.
The ‘Human Capital in the Digital Economy’ block will focus on the transformation of the world’s labour market, the role of education in the digital economy, and competitiveness in the knowledge economy.
Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation, Executive Secretary of the SPIEF 2018 Organizing Committee, and Head of the Forum’s Programme Committee Anton Kobyakov said leading experts from Russia and many other countries have traditionally taken part in the development of the programme: “We have received many proposals from which we have chosen the best and the most relevant ones that reflect the key challenges facing the world today and included them in the programme. A large number of sessions are devoted to the economy of the modern times, the development of technologies, and the transformation of all spheres of life under their influence. I am confident that discussions within the framework of the Forum’s business programme will attract the attention of the Forum’s participants and guests. We think that the main theme of the Forum ‘Building a Trust Economy’ is particularly relevant today and reflects the desire of business to develop without artificial restrictions. As we have said many times, we are creating a space of trust at the Forum and invite everyone to join it.”
“The SPIEF architecture fully reflects the current trends and challenges that are facing Russia and the world right now. We will only be able to respond to these challenges if all the parties concerned – the state, business, and non-profit organizations – act together on an equal footing by forming an economy of trust. In this regard, the presentation of the results of the Russian Regional Investment Climate Index conducted by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives fits perfectly into the programme. The rating is based on surveys of entrepreneurs and is subjective, thus the highest ratings are generally given to regions where a dialogue has been established between representatives of the state authorities and the business community. “The daily technological breakthroughs in such a wide variety of areas have forced everyone to pick up the pace, and Russia needs to be a part of this movement. That’s why the architecture of the St. Petersburg Forum is literally permeated with digitalization – sessions on education, healthcare, finance, communications, and management skills have been announced. “I am confident that this Forum will become a platform for discussing the most pressing topics and developing concrete solutions,” Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) General Director Svetlana Chupsheva said.
The Youth Economic Forum will be held pursuant to instructions from the Russian President concerning the creation of a youth section at the SPIEF. The participants will discuss key economic and political issues with international and Russian business leaders, major international experts, and scientists. In addition, the Forum events will help to establish contacts with young entrepreneurs from all over the world and develop ways for the international business community to interact.
The SPIEF organizers have preserved the traditional formats of cross-country business dialogues and thematic business breakfasts. Members of the business communities of Russia and the guest countries France and Japan will meet during the Forum. Separate meetings are planned with representatives of business communities from the United States, India, Italy, Finland, and Africa. Thematic business breakfasts will bring together representatives of pharmaceutical companies and the IT industry. Sberbank of Russia will hold a separate breakfast.
The Forum will also include events in the popular format ‘Foresight Series’. A foresight session ‘The Future of the Mind’ will be hosted by Michio Kaku, a specialist in theoretical physics and popularizer of science. Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov will also talk about the future of technological entrepreneurship in Russia.
In addition, events on the sidelines of the SPIEF will include a meeting of the B20 regional advisory council, the Russian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Forum as well as a session of the ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ International Arctic Forum on the theme ‘Uncovering the Potential of the Arctic through the Northern Sea Route’.
The detailed architecture of the Forum’s programme is available on the event’s official website.
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