The 24th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) kicked off in Russia's second largest city on Wednesday, during which participants will seek cooperation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year's forum with the theme "Together Again – Economy of New Reality" consists of four main programs: Joining Forces to Advance Development, Delivering on National Development Targets, Human Factor in Responding to Global Challenges, and New Technology Frontiers.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will address the plenary session of the SPIEF in person on Friday, while Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz will deliver speeches via video link.
More than 130 events are planned during the four-day forum to discuss issues regarding medium and small-sized enterprises in Russia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Business Twenty (B20) among others.
The largest delegations are expected from Qatar, the guest country of this year's forum, as well as from the United States and China.
Since 1997, the SPIEF has become a leading global platform for members of the business community to meet and discuss the key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets, and the world as a whole. The forum was canceled last year due to the pandemic.