ST. PETERSBURG, June 1. /TASS/. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker are expected to attend the opening ceremony of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2016), Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister and SPIEF Steering Committee Chairman Sergey Prikhodko said on Wednesday.
"The Forum opening ceremony will be staged on June 16. We expect it will be attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and President of Guinea Alpha Conde," Prikhodko said at the field meeting of the Steering Committee.
"The number of applications from foreign partners has been up 15% in contrast to what we saw last year. The representation of top officials and mass media will be approximately the same," he added.
According to the press service of the forum, over 200 speakers and moderators have confirmed their participation.
"More than 200 speakers and moderators confirmed their participation in the program to date. These are heads of foreign states and governments, prominent foreign and Russian politicians, heads of ministries and departments," the press service said.
The agenda of the forum, to be held on June 16-18, consists of more than 100 events in different formats, including a full-scale meeting, panel sessions, round-table discussions, business luncheons and TV debates.
The organizing committee says the SPIEF 2016 will be attended by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Austria’s Vice-Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner, and Cuba’s Vice-President of the Council of Ministers Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz. Among the heads of international organizations and major foreign businesses to be present at the forum are Bahrain Mumtalakat CEO Mahmood Hashim Alkooheji, Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg, Schneider Electric CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma and Societe Generale CEO Frederic Oudea.
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is Russia’s most significant annual economic conference. Since 1997 the leaders of countries, finance ministers and heads of Russian and foreign businesses, financiers and scientists have been meeting each other at the SPEF to discuss economic issues facing Russia and other emerging markets.