2016 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Facts and Details

© Sputnik / Alexei Danichev / Go to the mediabankPreparations for opening of St Petersburg International Economic Forum (File)
Preparations for opening of St Petersburg International Economic Forum (File) - Sputnik International
On Thursday the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is set to start at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre in St. Petersburg, Russia.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The theme of the SPIEF 2016 is Capitalizing on the New Global Economic Reality. Participants of the forum will focus on five main topics: Stimulating Demand, Seeking Growth; Realizing the Economic Potential of Russia; New Geo-Economic Dynamics; Navigating Revolutions in Technology and The Human Dimension. The event will last until June 18.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. (File) - Sputnik International
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SPIEF gathers leading decision-makers from emerging economic powers to identify and discuss key challenges facing Russia, emerging markets and the world on the whole.

SPIEF has developed into a leading global business network, attracting over 10,000 participants, including government and business leaders, as well as leading global voices from academia, the media and civil society.

The forum was initiated by the Federation Council of the Russian Federal Assembly and the Interparliamentary Assembly of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) Member States. In 1997, the idea was endorsed by the Russian president.

Originally, the summit was conceived as a "CIS Davos forum." Its principal goal was to hold comprehensive discussions on the economic and geopolitical development of CIS countries.

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The first SPIEF took place on June 18-20, 1997, under the aegis of the Interparliamentary Assembly of CIS Member States and with the support of the Russian government. It was attended by over 1,500 participants, including CIS heads of government and parliament, representatives of Russia’s regions, representatives of banking and financial organizations, business people and public figures.

The forum focused on finding new opportunities to expand economic cooperation between Russia and other CIS countries and financial and industrial organizations in leading countries as well as boosting investment.

In 1998, SPIEF received the status of an annual event and in 2001 was officially recognized as the main economic forum in the CIS.

Since 2006, SPIEF has been held under the patronage of the president of the Russian Federation.

SPIEF has three administrative and coordinating bodies — the Organizing Committee, the Coordination Committee and the SPIEF Foundation.

Since 2006, the forum’s organizer has been the Russian Ministry of Economic Development.

The event is held in the form of plenary sessions, round tables, exhibitions, investment project presentations, business meetings and talks.

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The forum’s official languages are Russian and English.

The theme of the SPIEF 2015 was Time to Act: Shared Paths to Stability and Growth. The four main topics of the last SPIEF were Global Economy: New Challenges and Shifting Horizons; Russia: Seizing the Opportunities; Human Capital and Talent Development and Disruptors: Trends and Technologies

A total of 668 speakers took part in 150 interactive sessions last year. Along with classic formats in 2015 the first session of the international discussion club Valdai was held and a new format SPIEF Debate was established to discuss the most urgent issues.

As part of SPIEF 2015, 205 agreements were signed worth a total of 293.4 billion rubles ($4.43 billion).

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