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City news, 11.04.2008 08:01

St. Petersburg economic forum to draw over 7,000 participants-2

Russia's economics minister said on Wednesday that between seven and eight thousand people could attend the 12th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 6-8.

Conducted under the auspices and with participation of the Russian president, the forum annually gathers world leaders to discuss important economic issues facing Russia and the international community.

"We estimate that the total number of participants will be seven to eight thousand people, including over a thousand heads from major Russian and foreign companies, and we expect some 300 high-ranking foreign delegates," Elvira Nabiullina told a news conference at RIA Novosti.

She refused to elaborate on a report due to be delivered at the forum by president-elect Dmitry Medvedev, who will be inaugurated on May 7.

"Let's not ruin the intrigue. Why reveal what will be discussed at the forum, the details and proposals," the minister said.

But she said Russia's long-term development prospects will be a key issue, as will "decisions to be made in the near future," she added.

Nabiullina said the economic conference must become a platform for straight talking on Russia's advantages and shortcomings.

She said the forum's agenda would be discussed at an organizing committee session later on Wednesday, adding that the program is traditionally divided into two parts - international and Russian.

The "international" plenary session on day one, June 7, will be entitled National Economic Interests and Global Governance Institutions. It will also feature a roundtable on the CIS and economic cooperation within the CIS framework.

The "Russia day" will address key economic challenges - infrastructure development, innovation, and "human capital." Separate attention will be given to international politics and globalization of Russian business, the minister said.

The conference agenda tentatively comprises two plenary sessions, 10 conferences, 13 round tables and a meeting with participants from the forum for young global leaders.

Traditional participants include presidents, prime ministers, heads of governments and ministers from a number of countries, as well as the international business elite, chief editors from the biggest global media publications and other news makers.

A foundation stone is to be laid for South Korean auto giant Hyundai's plant in St. Petersburg in June as part of the economic forum, Governor Valentina Matviyenko said earlier on Wednesday.

"We will lay the foundation stone for a Hyundai plant within the framework of the forum. It has become a good tradition at the forum to unveil or break ground on a new facility," the governor said.

She said several investment agreements would be signed during the conference, which she called "a blessing for the city".

News source:

(c) 2000