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Outcomes of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2018

30 May 2018
Итоги Петербургского международного экономического форума – 2018

SPIEF 2018 was held under the slogan “Building a Trust Economy,” and this year reached new heights, both in terms of scale and results. With its numerous achievements, it would be fair to call it an innovative, technological, and indeed breakthrough event.

“In spite of the sanctions imposed by a number of countries, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum demonstrated that Russia is a land of opportunity. The 17,000-plus participants arriving fr om 143 countries is testament to that fact. Over the past few years, SPIEF has developed to become an international platform, with its main achievement being the creation of a space where the spirit of trust prevails. Trust is a key asset in the business world, and discussions at the Forum focused on this crucial aspect,” said Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation and Executive Secretary of the SPIEF Organizing Committee Anton Kobyakov at the event’s closing press conference.

Guests fr om every continent, and representatives fr om international organizations such as the UN, IMF, OPEC and others spoke ever more profusely on the need to operate in a single economic space and find new areas of common ground in a changing world. President of France Emmanuel Macron was one of the honoured guests at the Forum. He commented that “Russia must have a leading voice in the Council of Europe.” He also expressed the belief that Russia and the EU’s united approach to the inviolability of underlying multilateral agreements in international politics was a key factor for the world today.

Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe commented, “The slogan of our Forum this year is ‘Building a Trust Economy.’ It is my belief that we can deem Japan and Russia as together engaged in building this economy of trust... We now stand at a historical turning point; the path we should take and efforts we should make are all entirely clear. It is working for future generations in Japan and Russia. It is Japan and Russia becoming a major force for safeguarding and fostering regional and global prosperity for the Japanese and Russian peoples, further deepening their relationship, mutual trust, concluding the peace treaty and building up lasting peace and stability between our two nations.” 

Speaking at the Forum plenary session, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, noted that “Russia has put in place an admirable macroeconomic framework – saving for a rainy day, letting the exchange rate float, introducing inflation targeting, and shoring up the banking system.”

“This year, the Forum has come to resemble a crossroads of civilizations. Only at SPIEF has everything been put in place to ensure that discussions are open, as opposed to politically charged. It is where participants fr om various countries and growing economies discuss economic issues. There is no place in the world other than SPIEF that provides such an opportunity, which is why we have seen the numbers of participants grow from year to year,” said Anton Kobyakov. 

During this year’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, over 3,000 flights arrived at and departed from Pulkovo Airport, including over 800 private flights. By way of comparison, SPIEF 2017 saw over 2,500 flights, including over 700 private flights.


The main programme incorporated over 150 business events across the Forum’s numerous venues. These events were split into four distinct themes: “Technology for Leadership,” “Harnessing Russia’s Growth Potential,” “Human Capital in the Digital Economy,” and “The Global Economy in an Era of Change.” 

The Forum’s central event was the plenary session, featuring President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. He commented: “Today what we need are not trade wars, or even temporary trade armistices, but rather a fully-fledged trading world. The slogan of this year’s Forum in St. Petersburg is ‘Building a Trust Economy’. I am convinced – and experience bears this out – that the role of trust as a factor affecting development will grow further.” 

The SPIEF 2018 plenary session was broadcast by 74 members and associate members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Together, these television channels cover the whole of Europe, as well as countries in the African continent. Television companies from the US, China, and Japan also covered the event. The host broadcaster of SPIEF 2018 was Russia Television and Radio – the company behind the international television programme of the Forum.

Twenty-nine crews from leading international television channels did live broadcasts from St. Petersburg.  

Over a period of four days, more than 1,000 moderators and speakers, including international experts, took the floor to talk on socio-economic development, SMEs, transport, the environment, healthcare, culture, tourism, education, and science. 


In the run-up to the FIFA World Cup, SPIEF held a special event entitled “From the First to the Twenty-First” for officials and business figures from Latin America and the Caribbean. In a ceremony broadcast live on Russia 24, television presenter Sergey Brilev handed a capsule of earth from the Estadio Centenario to the government of St. Petersburg. The Estadio Centenario in Montevideo (Uruguay) has a special place in global football history as the stadium that hosted the first World Cup in 1930.

23 May also saw the “Australia–Russia Business Re-connection: How and Why?” business breakfast take place for the first time. The event was organized by the Roscongress Foundation’s partners in Australia: the Australia–Russia Dialogue Forum and the ADC Forum. Later on, a business lunch took place entitled “Development of Trade and Economic Cooperation between the EAEU and ASEAN. Russia’s Role in the Process.” The event was attended by business representatives from EAEU and ASEAN.

The discussion platforms Russian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Forum (SME Forum) organized by the Roscongress Foundation together with All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization of Small and Medium Business OPORA ROSSII and the SME Forum partner Russian Small and Medium Business Corporation saw lively debates on business practices, some of which were held in a new, interactive format. The topic of small and medium enterprise continued as part of the main SPIEF 2018 business programme.

This was the third year that issues related to women in business also took centre stage on the eve of SPIEF 2018. An international forum entitled “Increasing the Contribution of Women to Economic Growth and Prosperity: Creating an Enabling Environment” brought together around 200 female participants representing the Russian regions. 

Elsewhere, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Leningrad Region’s “Women as Leaders” conference saw animated discussions on the involvement of women in a changing economy. 

The initial discussions on these topics will continue in just a few months’ time, with St. Petersburg hosting the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum on 21–22 September. 


The official opening ceremony took place on the first day of the Forum – 24 May. Welcoming addresses were given by Governor of St. Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko, and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Achim Steiner. Poltavchenko made assurances to Forum participants that Russia has been and will always remain a reliable partner. 

In total, 68 business events took place that day in various formats. Topics under discussion included digitalization, the future of the labour market, energy, and a breakthrough in the Far East. Participants at the Valdai Discussion Club session focused on the effect the crisis in international relations is having on the global economy, and possible ways to resolve the standoff between Russia and the West. The first day ended with a discussion on smart cities.

Issues concerning international cooperation came under focus on the second day, which also saw a number of business dialogues between countries take place. Participants identified new opportunities for implementing joint projects, modern mechanisms by which to promote exports on overseas markets, and ways to cooperate on removing administrative barriers. The business programme for 25 May included 51 events. The highlight was the plenary session, featuring President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe, Vice President of the People's Republic of China Wang Qishan, and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde. Furthermore, country’s leaders conversed again during Russia–France and Russia–Japan bilateral dialogues. Additionally, Vladimir Putin met with the heads of world’s information agencies and a held a meeting with the leaders of international companies. 

Events took place as panel sessions, roundtables, and business dialogues. They provided platforms by which leading specialists, experts, and politicians could discuss topics such as the resources and economy of the Global Ocean, the potential of the Arctic, and the in-demand technologies of the future. 

The closing day of the Forum saw 41 events take place, including 22 events held as part of the International Youth Economic Forum – a permanent SPIEF fixture for the younger generation. The day began with a business breakfast for representatives of the IT industry. According to those present, as much as 20% of global GDP today is tied to digital transformation, making it perilous to underestimate its impact. On the same day, American Chamber of Commerce in Russia and EY unveiled the results of a joint study on trade and economic ties between Russia and the USA. 

The B20 Regional Consultation Forum was a special event at SPIEF 2018, and saw participants discuss recommendations for G20 leaders for the forthcoming summit in Buenos Aires, which will take place this year from 30 November to 1 December.

In what has now become tradition, SPIEF hosted the presentation of the results of the Russian Regional Investment Climate Index for the fourth time. Tyumen Region climbed five places to convincingly take first position. Completing the top five were Moscow, Tatarstan, Leningrad Region, and Tula Region.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial   development institution that puts a special emphasis on the health care in the Russian Federation, including improving the quality of life (creating the system of long-term care for senior citizens, developing palliative care in Russia, promoting healthy life style, etc.).

SPIEF 2018 held a number of sessions and interviews on increasing life expectancy that brought in representatives of the Government of the Russian Federation, as well as Russian and foreign experts.

Investing special effort in this area, the Roscongress Foundation strives to become the leading single platform for discussing national goals, objectives and priorities to improve the quality of life in Russia (in accordance with Executive Order of the President of the Russian Federation “On National Goals and Strategic Objectives for Development of the Russian Federation through to 2024” dated 7 May 2018).


France and Japan took part in SPIEF 2018 as guest countries. This was not only reflected in the size of their delegations – with Japan sending 350 official representatives and 150 business representatives, and France 177 official representatives and 200 business representatives – but also in their special business and cultural programmes. The business programme included the traditional Russia–Japan business dialogue. A discussion on developing Russian-Japanese cooperation in the SME segment also took place. The Russia–France business programme included the “City of the Future” Trianon dialogue session and the “Industry of the Future” roundtable.

A Japanese pavilion was set up at the SPIEF venue, which hosted seminars on the country’s achievements in economics, science, and technology, its regions, and national cuisine. A French pavilion was also open to visitors, which presented key areas of investment for developing business in Europe.


The Forum’s honoured guests were President of France Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe. 

Among the high-ranking foreign politicians attending the Forum were Faustin Archange Touadera, President of the Central African Republic;Igor Dodon, President of Moldova; Anatoly Bibilov, President of South Ossetia; Erik Pukhaev, Prime Minister of South Ossetia; Wang Qishan, Vice President of the People’s Republic of China; Wilmar Alfredo Castro Soteldo, Vice President for Economy of Venezuela; Étienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy, Minister of Internal Security, and Minister of Defence of Luxembourg; Achim Steiner, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme; Ricardo Cabrisas Ruíz, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Economy and Planning of Cuba; and Nguyen Van Binh, Member of the Politburo, Secretary of the Central Committee, Head of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee’s Commission for Economic Affairs. 

SPIEF also saw numerous representatives of international organizations take part in its business events. These included Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund; Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries; Rashid Alimov, Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation; Tigran Sargsyan, Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission; Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe; Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, Deputy to the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization; Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific; Michael Christides, Secretary General of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation; Yury Sentyurin, Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum; Kundapur Vaman Kamath, President of the New Development Bank; and Javier Paulinich Velarde, Permanent Secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System. 

Over 40 international investors managing a total capital of over 20% of global GDP took part in this year’s Forum. Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded the Order of Friendship to two investors from Bahrain and Kuwait at the event. This was also the first year that the heads of all the Big Four accounting firms were in attendance. 

As in the previous year, the largest delegation was from the USA, with over 550 participants. Japan and France had the next largest delegations. There were also a number of major business missions from the UK, China, Germany, and Switzerland. More than 200 heads of major international corporations and 700 heads of Russian companies visited the Forum.

In addition, the Forum welcomed parliamentary delegations from 19 countries, and parliamentary heads from Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and the Maldives.

Russia’s participation in the event included President Vladimir Putin, all members of the new Government of the Russian Federation, and the heads of 75 federal subjects. 

Media interest in the Forum reached unprecedented levels this year. 4,081 media representatives were registered to cover events at SPIEF – a substantial increase on the 3,000 in 2017. 

The Roscongress Foundation’s international partners, which included the Japan Association for Trade with Russia and Newly Independent States, the French-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Conoscere Eurasia Association, the Russian-German Chamber of Commerce, the Bering Bellingshausen Institute for the Americas, the Confederation of Indian Industry, and others supported a number of business dialogues that featured the participants from Finland, Germany, Italy, Israel, Sweden, India, Greece, the USA, France, Africa, and Japan. Additional events included conferences, roundtables, meetings, and signing ceremonies. This involvement on the part of foreign business associations helps strengthen international ties, both among government bodies and business communities.


The global character of SPIEF was made even more apparent – and the communication platform even more attractive for talks – by the number of major projects and agreements that took shape. As of 30 May, 593 agreements had been signed at SPIEF, worth a total of RUB 2.625 trillion (counting agreements wh ere the figures were not classified as commercial secrets).

The biggest of these were the following: 

• A strategic cooperation agreement between Rosneft, Vnesheconombank and VEB Leasing worth up to RUB 400 billion for financing projects and providing leasing services. 

• An agreement of intent between the Eurasian Development Bank and Belkomur Interregional Company to form a syndicated loan of up to RUB 278 billion to fund the construction of the Belkomur railway line. 

• Several long-term contracts with a total value of USD 2.1 billion between Rosneft and 12 importing companies based in Mongolia for the supply of petrol and diesel fuel.

• An agreement worth USD 1.5 billion to construct a natural gas processing plant in the town of Ust-Luga (Leningrad Region), signed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund, the Japanese company Marubeni Corporation, the Baltic Gas Chemical Company, and Invasta Capital. The plant, which will convert natural gas to methanol, will have a capacity of 1.7 million tonnes per year.

• An agreement between Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Deutsche Bank (Germany) to open a credit line of EUR 807 million, to be provided by a consortium of five European banks.

In addition, the Roscongress Foundation signed cooperation agreements with the Association of Lawyers of Russia and 21 Russian federal subjects: the Leningrad, Kaliningrad, Kirov, Murmansk, Novgorod, Penza, Pskov, Rostov, Ryazan, Samara, Saratov, Sverdlovsk, Tver, Tomsk, and Chelyabinsk Regions, and the Republics of Adygea, Altai, Buryatia, Karachaevo-Cherkess, Crimea, and Khakassia. The aim of the agreements is to build collaboration between the parties on raising the investment attractiveness and export potential of the regions.

The Roscongress Foundation’s international partner network is continuing to increase. SPIEF 2018 saw the signing of agreements with the Association of European Businesses; the Federation Of Pakistan Chambers Of Commerce & Industry; the Union of Chinese Entrepreneurs in Russia; the ASEAN Business Club, the Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce; the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology (COMCE); the General Confederation of Entrepreneurs of Argentina; the Croatian Chamber of Economy; the Israeli Russian Business Council; the Polish Investment and Trade Agency; the Ladies in the Frontline business association, MEDEF International; the Boao Forum for Asia; the Moscow Centre for International Cooperation; and the Centre for the Development of Women’s Entrepreneurship. 

A number of agreements with charity and socially oriented organizations has been signed as part of a plan to develop the social platform launched by the Roscongress Foundation. 

The agreements cover cooperation within the social development sphere.

Additionally, agreements have been signed with sports organizations, such as the Russian Golf Association and the Golf Estate Management Company. This cooperation will focus on running sporting programmes for economic forums, including golf tournaments held at Peterhof Golf Club under the aegis of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to promote sport, both in the corporate sphere and among the general public.

Other organizations to sign cooperation agreements with Roscongress were the Central Union of Consumer Societies of the Russian Federation; the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library; Rosconcert; Rostelecom; VSK; MZS and Partners; the Deposit Insurance Agency; the Water Supply and Treatment Cluster Management Company in St. Petersburg; SVEKO FSUE; and Electrificatciya PJC.

In 2019 under the auspices of the United Nations Organization Russia will host the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (GMIS). The event will take place at the INNOPROM venue in Yekaterinburg. The appropriate agreement has been signed during SPIEF 2018.  

Importantly, an agreement was signed between the management of the Made in Russia national brand and Novgorod Region to work together on promoting the Novgorod Rus regional brand. An agreement with Zenden Group will result in the establishment of Made in Russia’s first regional office, also in Novgorod Region.


Following the decree of the President of the Russian Federation on establishing an on-going youth platform during SPIEF, the Forum hosted the International Youth Economic Forum (IYEF) organized by the Roscongress Foundation and the Federal Agency on Youth Affairs (Rosmolodezh). During the event young leaders of local and international business discussed contemporary challenges and awarded the winners of the All-Russia competition My Country – My Russia.

 IYEF brought together graduate and post-graduate students from more than 15 Russian universities, including St. Petersburg State University, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Higher School of Economics, National University of Science and Technology MISIS, Russian Social University, People’s Friendship University of Russia, St. Petersburg State University of Economics, etc.  

The youth platform created by the Roscongress Foundation together with partners allows future managers to take part in the forum with no participation fee. They get a chance to network with big business representatives and hear their success stories. Direct communication between different generations helps raise future entrepreneurs, foster international relations, and get acquainted with potential employers. Within the next five to ten years the entrepreneurs return to the Forum as new participants ready to share their experience, eager to represent their company on the international level, and take part in the international global processes. 

A great example of SPIEF 2018 of the latter is presence of opinion leaders from academic, business and media environments from G20, BRICS and EEU invited by the Russian Centre for Promotion of Internal Initiatives supported by the Roscongress Foundation and the Government of St. Petersburg. Among them were the participants of the meeting of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin with youth G20 leaders at SPIEF 2013. During this brief period they managed to find their way in politics and business and now they head various youth, research and civic organizations. Five years later young leaders meet in St. Petersburg again. 

Youth agenda at SPIEF 2018 included meetings with officials, representatives of international companies, members of business communities, and experts. Young leaders of G20 and EEU held a series of brainstorms about the place Russian economy occupies in the global world, and about the future of digital economy. Additionally, they discussed creating a youth entrepreneurial network that would help develop horizontal interaction of G20 and EEU young leaders, as well promote business projects among the SME participants.  


The Cultural Programme of SPIEF 2018 was truly vibrant and diverse: it offered over 60 versatile events for guests and participants of the Forum. Notably, many of them were charity proceedings, including a gala concert in Mikhailovsky Theatre in support of cancer treatment; a charitable evening in the Faberge Museum featuring Mira Yevtich (piano) and the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra conducted by maestro Valery Gergiev, as well as a gala concert in the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library featuring Vladimir Galouzine, principal performer of the Mariinksy Theatre and People’s Artist of Russia, winners of Elena Obraztsova International Competition of Young Vocalists and Sergey Roldugin, a famous cello player and People’s Artist of Russia.  

Over 20 museums and exhibition halls in St. Petersburg and surroundings welcomed the participants of the Forum, including the Russian Museum and the legendary Krassin ice-breaker. 

The leading theatres of St. Petersburg held repertoire music programmes, as well as special events dedicated to SPIEF 2018. The Mariinsky Theatre premiered shows from the guest countries of the Forum – France and Japan, as well as Italy. 

The Roscongress Foundation, the operator of the Forum, and FSFCI Rosconcert signed an agreement on cooperation.  The Mikhailovsky Theatre hosted a concert featuring Boris Berezovsky, a famous piano player, as part of the Russian Seasons project. 

Besides, participants of the Forum got a unique opportunity to play ‘What? Wh ere? When?’, an intellectual quiz, hosted by Alexander Drouz. 

A special three-day tour programme was prepared for accompanying persons of the Forum participants, as well as Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. 

This year SPIEF took place during the celebration of 315th anniversary of St. Petersburg, which made its way in the Cultural Programme of the Forum.  Together with local citizens, Forum participants attended a number of celebratory events.  A true gem of this programme was a gala concert called Classics at Palace Square, as well as the Singing Bridges music show. 

The evening programme of the Forum, provided by the partner companies, has been colourful and eventful, including the official reception on behalf of the Organizing Committee.   


The Forum presented its diverse Sporting Programme that combined competitions in 10 athletic disciplines, as well as traditional corporate games under Roscongress Sport Club brand. 

The key event of the SPIEF 2018 Sporting Programme was a friendly match between women’s sabre fencing teams from Russia and France. Alisher Usmanov, President of the International Fencing Federation, and Pavel Kolobkov, Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation, opened the tournament. Exciting competitions of the world’s best sabre fencers took place in the Russian Ethnography Museum followed by a meeting with the leaders of the two countries, which only punched up the main programme of the Forum.     

SPIEF 2018 participants took part in Roscongress gala matches and tournaments in golf, football, ice-hockey, basketball, padel and sporting. The following guests of the Forum participated in the sporting events: Sadhguru, a famous Indian mystic and yogi; Yevgeny Ditrikh, Minister of Transport; Arkady Dvorkovich, Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee for the FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia; Pasquale Terracciano, Ambassador of Italy; Aleksandr Karelin, three-time Olympic champion in Greco-Roman wrestling and Hero of the Russian Federation; Alexander Popov, four-time Olympic champion in swimming; Viktor Khristenko, President of the Russian Golf Association; Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee of Gazprom; Pavel Fedorov, First Vice President of Rosneft; Alexey Rakhmanov, President of the United Shipbuilding Corporation; Konstantin Goncharov, President of Novotrans Group; Aleksandrs Insurins, Chairman of the Executive Board of FESCO and many other politicians and business people. A golfing master class for SPIEF 2018 participants was hosted by one of the best players Maria Verchenova. 

Citizens of St. Petersburg had a chance to participate in the local corporate games under the auspices of SPIEF 2018. They brought together 37 teams from local state and corporate agencies in 12 athletic disciplines, including local offices of Russian Railways, Sberbank, Gazpromneft and its subsidiaries, Transneft, Rosseti, Rosatom and Rosselkhozbank. Residents of St. Petersburg enjoyed the opportunity to attend the start of the following projects at St. Isaac’s Square: Ladoga Trophy Raid race with 197 cars from 18 countries and the second leg of the International Peace Rally from St. Petersburg to Monaco.    


An important innovation at SPIEF this year was the inclusion of a social agenda in the Forum programme, and the launch of the Roscongress Foundation’s social platform. This is in line with national policy priorities to raise the quality of life, develop the regions, build modern education and healthcare systems, support culture and the environment, meet the demands of modern society, and strengthen the Roscongress Foundation’s social focus. 

The NPO LAB is a new project that served as the main platform for discussing the social agenda. Attending the opening ceremony was Tatyana Golikova, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation for Social Policy. “In order for social problems to be solved quickly and systemically, we need government, business, relevant non-commercial organizations and development institutions such as Roscongress to join forces. If a space such as the NPO LAB can facilitate dialogue between these parties and the creation of new partnerships, if it can help bring resources to socially significant projects and replicate them, then success awaits as we work to fulfil these priority social development objectives across the entire country,” she said. Around 100 charitable foundations and non-commercial organizations presented their projects at the NPO LAB, and over 20 sessions and discussions took place on a range of topics, including environment, education, territorial development, female entrepreneurship, and improving inclusivity levels in the society. Eight collaboration agreements were signed between the Rosongress Foundation and NPO LAB participants, covering various social themes. Partnership agreements between corporate structures and social organizations were also signed, serving as further confirmation of the platform’s effectiveness. 

NPO LAB stand hosted a number of agreement signing ceremonies, including those between Ozero Baikal Foundation and the Republic of Buryatia, The Memory of Generations charitable foundation and the Association of Volunteer Centres, as well as Podari Zhizn Charity Foundation and International Paper.   

In order to promote social agenda in the society, improve interaction efficiency between various branches of the social sector, and create a world-level information outlet the Roscongress Foundation Social Platform in partnership with The Arts, Science and Sport Charity Foundation announced the launch of the Centre for Social Communications project. One of the key activities of the centre will be running an All-Russia Creative Competition on key aspects of social development, such as family and children, culture, education, elderly, environment, inclusivity and new technology.  

Further on, the Roscongress Foundation social platform will continue integrating social agenda in the programmes of various forums, expanding the geography of social partnerships, as well as developing socially oriented initiatives and projects on the regional level in accordance with the Executive Order of the President of the Russian Federation “On National Goals and Strategic Objectives for Development of the Russian Federation through to 2024” dated 7 May 2018.     

Additionally, the final day of the Forum saw a group of talented children from Sosnovy Bor, winners of competitions such as In the Arms of the Nature, NucKids2017 and Glory to the Creators take a tour around the exhibition areas. “We invited 19 talented children to the SPIEF venue so they could see the success of Russia’s leading companies for themselves. Without a doubt, it helps engage active young people with technological advancement of Russia,” said Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Roscongress Foundation Alexander Stuglev.  


SPIEF Investment & Business Expo exhibition gave Russian regions and international companies an opportunity to present their investment projects. This networking area consisted of 32 stands, wh ere potential business partners learned about investment opportunities in Russia’s regions, as well as projects developed by Russian companies. 

The style used for the SPIEF venue decor, as well as outdoor advertising and printed materials is based on the architecture of St. Petersburg. However, this year details got a special emphasis: looking at the decor images, one could examine Peter the Great Bridge, the facades of the Hermitage, Kazan Cathedral, the Chamber of Curiosities, Singer House located on Nevsky Prospect, and many other landmarks of the city that go well with the iconic silhouettes of the Bronze Horseman, the Alexander Column and St. Isaac’s Cathedral.     

2018 is the Year of Ballet. Celebrating the fact the Passages walls have been covered with imagery of renowned ballerinas dancing away and costume sketches designed for world famous ballets.  The restaurant for participants was decorated in this special ‘theatrical’ style, which gave visitors a chance to dive into the atmosphere of classical ballet as if they were in a lobby of a theatre. 

The SPIEF Presentation Area supported by EY and FIAC brought up important topics. This area attracted representatives of Russian and international companies, media and government agencies. Over 2,500 people visited this area over 4 days of the Forum. 

The Governors’ Club hosted around 150 meeting of different formats. 

The Roscongress Club made its debut at SPIEF 2018 and offered presentations by the Russian Congress Bureau and new sporting projects of the Roscongress Foundation: Roscongress Sport Club (an all year round club that provides access to events of the Foundation’s Sporting Programme), as well as Sochi Challenge Forum. 

Apart from the Social Platform, the Roscongress Foundation premiered The Territory of Innovation. Startup Lounge, a special innovation oriented lounge area. 

The concept of the lounge got to be popular among guests and participants of the Forum. It offered innovative companies a chance to present new solutions for the medical industry, data processing and information security. At the same time, promising Russian technology-based projects enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate their achievements and discuss their further development with other participants. 

Besides, The Territory of Innovation opened a lecture hall, wh ere a number of projects got to show their products to a broader audience and connect to the visitors.

The opening ceremony of The Territory of Innovation was attended by Konstantin Noskov, Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media; Alexander Stuglev, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Roscongress Foundation; Kirill Varlamov, the Head of Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF); Igor Drozdov, Chairman of the Board of Skolkovo Foundation; and Yekaterina Dibrova, President of RHANA Medical Corporation. 

At SPIEF 2018 the EXPO 2025 Bid Committee presented an interactive booth with the Smart City concept which will be created using advanced technologies at the expo venue.

The monorail road project was one of the highlights of the Yekaterinburg EXPO. SPIEF 2018 guests who visited the booth found themselves in the monorail cabin on a sightseeing tour through the EXPO, and witnessed life in the Smart City as a computer graphics model,” noted Director General of the Expo 2025 Bid Committee Svetlana Sagaydak.

During the final press conference, Anton Kobyakov, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation pointed out: “Ideas and decisions made at the Forum stimulate the development of many industries. That’s why we can rightfully say that the Roscongress Foundation has succeeded as a socially oriented non-financial development institution. It remains a major organizer of international conventions, exhibitions and public events in different areas of our economy. Joint and well-coordinated efforts of the organizing committees, partners of the Forum and the Roscongress Foundation, cooperation among all members of all organizing committees of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Eastern Economic Forum, International Financial Congress, Forum of Innovative Financial technologies FINOPOLIS, Russian Energy Week, Russian Investment Forum, the International Arctic Forum: ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue”, as well as thorough compilation of the programmes and arrangement of the exhibition areas, timely invitations and project development led to a admirable result. A system of forums has appeared built around the calendar year that is clear to all participants at all levels, which makes it even more interesting and attracts a bigger audience. The international format of SPIEF has become even more evident. This communication platform is popular for negotiating not just large international projects that involve Russia and its foreign partners, but other ones that Russia hasn’t joined yet.”    

The Forum started the Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation. As of today, this platform is actively developing with the help of the Foundation’s partners and features an interactive library and a navigation system for 862 sessions, 3,685 speakers and moderators, 231 analysis pieces and 153 topics of Russia’s development agenda that were discussed during events of the Roscongress Foundation. 

During SPIEF, the Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation integrated Summary service prepared by TASS.  

The official mobile app of SPIEF 2018 held a survey that showed that 60% of participants that took part in the canvas (almost 10 thousand people from 63 countries) approved of the logo for the Made in Russia national brand. Importantly, this project showed incredible opportunities of the Forum’s mobile app as an efficient research tool. 


104 companies became the partners of SPIEF 2018 (72 Russian and 32 international companies). 8 companies held the status of the General Partner (VTB Bank, Gazprom, Rosneft, Sberbank, Tinkoff Bank, Rostec State Company, the Russian Export Centre and DOM.RF JSC).   

The official vehicle of the Forum is Mercedes-Benz RUS. 

Rosseti is the strategic partner of the Forum that provided the venue with reliable and uninterrupted power supply. 

34 companies shared the status of the media sponsor of SPIEF 2018 (22 Russian and 12 international companies). 


Traditionally, the Roscongress Foundation opens several restaurants for participants involving famous caterers and chefs. Starting from 2016, the regular catering partner for SPIEF at the new venue is Restaurants of Rappoport Group. Three restaurants of this catering holding welcomed guests of SPIEF 2018 during the four days of the Forum: China Gramota, Blok and Dr. Zhivago. Besides, FORUM Restaurant offered its services to the guests under the guidance of renowned chefs – Matteo Baronetto (Italy) and Mirko Reeh (Germany). The list of restaurants also included Kuban Investment Restaurant. On top of that, GRIL’ and PARC, the permanent restaurants of Hilton St. Petersburg ExpoForum were available to participants of the Forum.  Additionally, the Forum provided a number of networking areas with continuous coffee breaks throughout the day, while media representatives enjoyed lunches, dinners and snacks. The organizers ordered over 95 tons of food for media representatives and staff. Over 1000 professionals were involved in continuous operation of dining areas. The restaurants at the venue came up with versatile menus with the most popular options being Pan-Asian, Italian, Russian and vegetarian.    

SPIEF 2018 was organized by the Roscongress Foundation. 

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, exhibitions, and public events. 

The Roscongress Foundation was founded in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential and strengthening the country’s image by organizing international conventions, exhibitions, and public events. The Foundation develops substantive content for such events, providing companies and organizations with advice, information, and expert guidance, and offering comprehensive evaluation, analysis, and coverage of the Russian and global economic agendas. It offers administrative services and promotional support for business projects and helps to attract investment, including in the form of public-private partnerships.

Today, its annual programme includes events held from Montevideo to Vladivostok, offering an opportunity to bring together global business leaders, experts, the media, and government officials in one place, creating favourable conditions for dialogue and the promotion of new ideas and projects, and assisting in the creation of social enterprise and charity projects.