Outcomes of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2017
The Forum’s official programme was developed in collaboration with over 500 leading experts from Russia, Europe, the United States, Asia, and Australia – including academic institutions, development organisations, and business community from all over the world.
The global economy in search of a new balance was the key theme for discussions in the global pillar of the Forum’s business programme. The industrial revolution 4.0 and its impact on the global economy were among the key topics discussed at the Forum. A new digitalization programme has been approved by the Russian government whereby three sectors with a potential for the most impact have been selected for the state’s active involvement – public administration, smart cities, and healthcare.
The main topic for the discussions concerning the Russian economy was Russia’s economic development strategy under the new conditions. An understanding of the need to ensure ‘quality growth’ has replaced the previous era of a basic commodities led economy and high economic growth rates. Economic sanctions against Russia have provided a major impetus for the process of import substitution. Improvements to the investment climate and business conditions in Russia were another common theme of the Forum programme. Reduced pressure on business by the regulatory authorities and work carried out in this regard by the supervisory authorities and the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation have had a major positive impact on the country’s business climate.
Over 900 speakers and moderators took part in the Forum and covered a wide range of topics including socio-economic development, energy, transportation, the environment, healthcare, culture, tourism, education, and science. The number of business programme events almost doubled compared with last year. A total of 127 events were held in the format of panel sessions, roundtables, TV debates, business breakfasts, and business dialogues. A Russia–US business dialogue was held at SPIEF for the first time in three years and was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Events on the Forum sidelines included: a meeting of the B20, BRICS and SCO conferences as well as a special session devoted to the upcoming 19th World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi in October 2017. Nobel Prize laureates chose the St. Petersburg Forum as the venue for their traditional meeting and held a special session titled ‘New Frontiers in Scientific Advancement’ together with the Russian Academy of Sciences.