GR Takeaways from SPIEF-2024
June 13, 2024
How SPIEF-2024 looked like

On June 5-8, 2024, Saint Petersburg hosted the 27th St. Petersburg Investment and Economic Forum, the annual flagship B2G event intended to showcase Russia’s economic and investment opportunities.

The authorities sought to turn SPIEF-2024 into a high-profile platform designed to promote the image of Russia as a reliable and valuable trade partner among the “friendly” countries, with Russia increasingly trying to shift cooperation to the BRICS-bloc countries. On the whole, the international line-up has reflected the pivot of Russia towards Asia, Latin America and Africa.

  • In terms of top-level guests, President of Bolivia Luis Arce and President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa turned out to be the only foreign heads of state participating in the plenary session next to Vladimir Putin.

  • Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Oman and UAE were represented at the ministerial level, with Cuban and Turkish delegations being presided over by Deputy PMs, while the Venezuelan one – by the Vice President.

  • Concerning foreign businesses, like the previous two years, their representation functions shifted to business associations, so as to reduce corporate visibility. As such, the Association of European Businesses, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Italo-Russian Chamber of Commerce were among the present.
Still, despite SPIEF’s diminished international status, it remains an important platform for businesses, yet mostly at the domestic level.

Given that the key theme of SPIEF-2024 was global multipolarity, many panels focused on Russia’s economic sovereignty and partnerships with BRICS nations, which reflects the expanding political posture of the group, as Russia sees it.

  • The forum featured discussions on strengthening cooperation among BRICS and the role of the bloc in ensuring global security and regional engagements, as well as prospects for business partnerships within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

  • Some of the panels were dedicated to family and other traditional values as a foundation for ensuring national development, another keystone of the standing political course.

So, in terms of content, SPIEF-2024 differed little from the forums of the last two years. And, it should be acknowledged, SPIEF could further transform into a premier social event, rather than a place for dialogue and policy interface.

Please find more details in the memo.

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