650 agreements for a total of 3.1 trillion roubles were signed within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum held in the Northern capital of Russia from 6 to 8 June 2019, noted adviser to the President of the Russian Federation Anton Kobyakov.

The number and composition of participants have broken the all-time record. The forum was attended by more than 19 thousand participants and guests from 145 countries, including high-profile foreign visitors – PRC head Xi Jinping and Bulgarian President Rumen Radev. The guests from China formed the largest delegation.

The companies from Saudi Arabia participated in the forum for the first time.  All in all, 1.3 thousand foreign companies and more than 2.5 thousand Russian companies were represented at SPIEF.

Promising projects and programmes

Russian regions and foreign countries presented their promising projects at separate stands at the forum.

Moscow government focused on the development of transport and procurement, presenting a model of a new generation Ivolga train. In the future, these trains will be used to carry passengers along Moscow suburban train diameter routes.

As part of the forum, the government of Moscow signed over a dozen agreements for cooperation in various fields with the government of the Amur region, the Republic of Crimea, and the government of the Nizhny Novgorod region, as well as investment contracts with two private companies.

At the forum, the Agency for Strategic Initiatives presented the year-end results of the National Investment Climate Rating of the Russian regions.

Moscow ranked the 1st, St. Petersburg – the 5th. According to mayor of the capital Sergey Sobyanin, this is the result of integrated decision-making: infrastructure-building, support of business, and reduction of the administrative barriers.

The SPIEF 2019 key topic was ‘Creating a Sustainable Development Agenda’. The participants of the forum discussed important issues and problems facing the world’s megalopolises.

Head of the Department for Investment and Industrial Policies Alexander Prokhorov explained the reason for the growing investment attractiveness of the Russian capital.

Moscow authorities offer investors various supportive measures, including the status of a technopark, industrial complex or industrial park to the enterprises actively engaged in investing.

Chairman of the Moscow City Duma Alexei Shaposhnikov called Moscow one of the largest metapolicies in the world, noting that the capital’s delegation is represented at all venues of the forum. Moscow guests are interested in projects for the development of high technologies and urban spaces.

Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko indicated that the Cabinet allocates budget funds to implement projects aimed at improving the urban environment. It is planned to spend more than 300 billion roubles for these purposes.

Alexander Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, believes that sustainable economic development depends on digitalization and transformation of the technological sphere in order to propel labour productivity to the next level. Countries that will not pay attention to this issue will lose their competitiveness.

Obviously, the main event of the forum was the impressive speech of President Putin, which many have already called “the second Munich speech”. In his address, the President defended Chinese companies, in particular, Huawei which suffer from the US economic pressure and condemned the aggressive actions of the White House against certain countries.

This speech was preceded by the meeting of the Russian and Chinees leaders which in fact set the tone for the entire forum with multipolarity and consolidation of regional players against external economic pressure being the implicit topic of the event. Against this background, one might find interesting Mr Trump’s statement that relations between Washington and Moscow were spoiled because of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into “Russian meddling”, but now they need to be reset, as well as relations with China.