The 14th International Economic Forum to be attended by more than 10 thousand people, including top government and business elite, began its work in St. Petersburg. The forum is devoted to the discussion of ways to overcome the global crisis. President Dmitry Medvedev will hold a meeting on modernization and technological development of the economy.
Last year, the number of foreign participants at the forum - economists, politicians, and businessmen - exceeded the number of Russian participants. It is expected that this year the "Russian Davos" will be visited by over 50 foreign delegations, 69 heads of major foreign companies, and 74 leaders of Russian companies. Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin arrived in St. Petersburg. French President Nicolas Sarkozy will be the guest of honor at the forum.
This year the motto of the forum is "Laying the Foundation for the Future. " Official opening of the forum will be held on June 18. Themed panel discussions, negotiations and signing of the first agreement commenced on June 17.
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The main discussions will begin on June 18, immediately after the official opening. The main event of the forum is the traditional address by the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev at the first plenary meeting. The title of the address, "We Have Changed", indicates the need to modernize the world economy. According to Arkady Dvorkovich, Assistant to the Russian President, after the speech the president will participate in the session on the development of energy markets, particularly the gas market, and will award the "Global Energy" prize, ITAR-TASS reports.
Academician Borys Paton, the president of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, will receive the Global Energy award of 2010 "for contributions to the solution of scientific and technological problems of pipeline transportation and energy engineering.” Academician Alexander Leontiev will be awarded for "for fundamental research in the area of intensification of heat transfer in power plants."
The second day of the forum will be "financial." Participants will discuss the post-crisis financial architecture, the issues of reforming of the international financial institutions, the future of reserve currencies, the new format of cooperation between finance ministries and regulators from different countries aimed at limiting global systemic risks. The national debts, which is the main threat to the modern financial system, will be the central issue of the day.
As for the signing of investment contracts, according to Dvorkovich,” a significant number of such agreements will be signed, obviously more than you can count on the fingers on both hands.” The French are expected to draw up an agreement regarding the production of auto parts in Ulyanovsk region, while the governor of Tomsk region Victor Kress and the leadership of VEOLIA are to sign a memorandum of intent to modernize the Tomsk communal system.
Moscow and Paris in the near future may sign contracts in the area of mechanical engineering and power engineering, including development of gas fields, energy, telecommunications and manufacturing of pharmaceutical products. Memoranda of understanding on all these issues are being prepared or have been prepared, and preliminary contracts have already been signed in certain areas, Dvorkovich specified. He said it included contracts with Transmashholding, Gazprom, Rosatom, and Alstom, RIA Novosti reports.
President Medvedev is planning to meet with representatives of the technology business, first of all with those companies that have agreed to partner with innovation center Skolkovo. The first Supervisory Board of the Management Company, which will continue to implement the project with regard to the establishment of the innovation center, will be held during the forum.
During the forum, the president of France can be announced as the Skolkovo project coordinator representing French companies. The Russian authorities have engaged in a dialogue with several American and European companies regarding participation in the project. Negotiations with the American Cisco and the Finnish Nokia are close to completion, RIA Novosti reports.