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SPIEF Hit With Attendance Drop

Published: May 22, 2014 (Issue # 1811)



  • Despite the recent number of cancellations, the forum will still host over 6,500 participants at the Lenexpo center.
    Photo: for SPT

Despite a number of cancellations, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will still host more than 6,500 participants led by an impressive number of high-ranking representatives from some of the worlds leading companies.

Christophe de Margerie, CEO of energy giant Total SA, confirmed last week that he will visit the forum at the annual meeting of the companys shareholders in Paris, saying that he had attended nearly all the past economic forums in St. Petersburg and would not ignore the upcoming one.

Going away from politics is a good method to calm the situation down to some extent, de Margerie said, Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei radio station reported. Olaf G. Koch, CEO of Metro AG Germany, also confirmed his attendance.

The list of other VIPs who have confirmed their attendance includes Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen, President and CEO of Carlsberg Group, Donald James Umpleby III, Group President of Caterpillar Inc., Franck Riboud, Chairman and CEO of Danone, and Kim Jung Rae, President and Chief Operating Officer of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd.

Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips Electronics NV, Robert Dudley, Group Chief Executive Officer of BP Plc, and Mike Nolte, Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Russia SAO will also attend the forum.

However, Russians will make up the majority of the number attending with Russian President Vladimir Putin leading the forum.

Other leading Russian businessmen scheduled to attend include Oleg Deripaska, Chairman of the Management Board and General Director of UC RUSAL, which produces aluminum, German Gref, President and Chairman of the Management Board of Sberbank, Andrey Akimov, Chairman of the Management Board of Gazprombank OJSC, and Vagit Alekperov, President of Lukoil and others.

In total, over 6,500 official delegations from 62 countries will take part in the forum. The forum will also host 146 heads of the largest foreign companies in the world and 450 leading Russian companies, St. Petersburg governor Georgy Poltavchenko said, reported Rossiiskaya Gazeta .

Poltavchenko also said out of those who applied to participate and confirmed their attendance, 70 percent were from Europe and the U.S.

Despite hosting more than 6,500 people, with 25 percent of them being journalists, the number of participants in this years forum is still smaller than last year, when the event saw 7,190 people in attendance, including 176 heads of the biggest foreign companies and 436 Russian companies. Approximately 102 agreements amounting to a total of 9.6 trillion rubles ($276.3 billion) were signed at last years forum, reported Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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