SPIEF 2023 Focuses On Russia’s Position In New World – OpEd


Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent his greetings to the participants, organizers, and guests as St. Petersburg, the second largest city in the Russian Federation, prepares to host the International Economic Forum from 14 to 17 June, 2023. 

The theme of this year’s forum is ‘Sovereign Development as the Basis of a Just World: Joining Forces for Future Generations’ and questions to be discussed relate the key trends and changes in the Russian and global economy, which are driven by the ongoing formation of a multipolar world and efforts by most countries to secure political and economic independence.

Putin emphasized that “it is vital to make the most of the opportunities that are presenting themselves in the global economy and to focus on attaining technological and financial sovereignty, forging strong ties, developing optimal logistics routes, improving infrastructure and tackling inequality and poverty.”

He mentioned boosting the labour market as one of the priorities: “In order to achieve this, there needs to be a close partnership between the state and the  business community, particularly with regard to introducing lean manufacturing technology and modernizing enterprises. And of course, more work is needed to optimize professional training and retraining programmes and improve the national employment services.

According its official website, the programme consists of more than 140 events with more than 1,000 moderators and speakers. “In the midst of sanctions and a crisis of globalization, Russia has begun to look to new horizons. Conclusions drawn from discussions at the Forum influence business and the authorities as they make important decisions in the interests of sustainable development,” Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation Anton Kobyakov said.

The business programme is divided into five thematic blocks dedicated to the global processes taking place in the world and leading to the establishment of a fundamentally new multipolar economic model with opportunities for fair and constructive dialogue between all those striving towards more sustainable development.

Each session follows its particular track to consider Russia’s position in this new world. Russia has already demonstrated its willingness to defend its interests and security. Although the process is a difficult one, it is the way centres of power are established. The sessions will discuss economic changes to energy, finance, logistics, transport, culture and technology.

The sessions will examine strategic issues arising from the development of digital technologies throughout the economy, from public administration and data security to the digitalization of manufacturing and agriculture. It will also look at how the arts affect the individual and how investment in demographics, education, culture, and sports can help achieve economic development goals.

In addition to the main business programme, SPIEF will host a number of events on the sidelines as in previous years: Business 20 Regional Consultation Forum (B20), the Youth Economic Forum, the SME Forum, the Drug Security Forum, the Creative Business Forum, the SPIEF Junior programme, and a number of Sber and pharmaceutical company business breakfasts.

Six bilateral business dialogue events have been planned to take place with foreign partners from the Arab world, Latin America, ASEAN, India, and China. A new format of dialogue between Russian and foreign business will be introduced, with a special emphasis to be placed on accessible company participation and the uniqueness of a programme that will include informal bilateral business events and presentations on the investment, technological, and industrial potential of partner countries.

In the runup to SPIEF 2023 First Deputy Prime Minster of the Russian Federation and Chairman of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Organizing Committee Andrey Belousov presided over the meeting of the Committee.

“Today comes the time to focus, the time to re-imagine and rebuild our communications with our strategic partners. In this regard, SPIEF helps the state to unite like-minded people. Russia is one of the countries in the world that has retained its sovereignty, its ability to implement its national objectives, its domestic goals. Russia pursues policies in accordance with its national interests, which does not exclude interaction with other countries,” said Andrey Belousov.

SPIEF is an annual gathering of influential Russian and international politicians and government officials, businessmen and representatives of academic community. Important to remind that the first forum was held in 1997. This will be the 26th forum or gathering in St. Petersburg from 14 to 17 June, 2023.

Kester Kenn Klomegah

Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and a policy consultant on African affairs in the Russian Federation and Eurasian Union. He has won media awards for highlighting economic diplomacy in the region with Africa. Currently, Klomegah is a Special Representative for Africa on the Board of the Russian Trade and Economic Development Council. He enjoys travelling and visiting historical places in Eastern and Central Europe. Klomegah is a frequent and passionate contributor to Eurasia Review.

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