President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev gave an assessment of the current state of the Russian economy
In his address to the opening plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev gave an assessment of the current state of the Russian economy and pointed out the key objectives of its modernization
Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China, told the plenary session of the Forum that trade between Russia and China would increase to $200 billion over the next decade. Hu Jintao named energy, biotechnology, and nanotechnology among the most promising areas of cooperation between Russia and China.
The second day of the Forum saw 32 business events and 27 press events at the Forum’s press center. Below are some of the quotes from the panelists, moderators, and participants:
1. NEW PATHS TO ENERGY SECURITY
Igor Sechin, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation:
“In the foreseeable future demand for energy sources will be met by gas, oil and coal.”
2. INTERNET ECONOMY: RUSSIA AND THE REST OF THE WORLD
Yuri Milner, Founder, Chief Executive Officer, DST Global:
“I see the erosion of differences between countries. I think the advantage gap is
really shrinking due to the speed with which information can be transferred. You see
business models being invented in one part of the world and being reintroduced again
and again, globally.”
Igor Shuvalov, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation:
“Preparing share offerings and businesses for sale must be done in a high-quality way.
Privatization itself must be carried out transparently, and not in a rush. Good investors
must be attracted and, if possible, we should sell for more.”
4. EXPLORING STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS FOR THE NEW RUSSIAN DIRECT INVESTMENT
Kirill Dmitriev, General Director, Russian Direct Investment Fund:
“We do not only want the fund to be a vehicle to co-invest, but we want it to be a vehicle
to show that Russia is indeed a very good and attractive destination for investments. If
we cannot make this transparent, easily understood and very-very clean, it won’t work.”
5. Knowledge Stream briefing
Igor Shchegolev, Minister of Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation:“Technology is not an end in itself. The aim is to deliver high-quality content.”
6. WORLD ACCORDING TO GOOGLE, Expanding Technology Horizons Eric Schmidt,
Executive Chairman, Google:
“Google will clearly still be fundamentally in the information business which will see fewer of the answers ‘here’s everything that’s on the web’ and more of a move to giving you the right answer.”
7. HOW CLOUD COMPUTING WILL RESHAPE THE DIGITAL AGE Expanding Technology Horizons
Serguei Beloussov, Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Architect, Parallels:
“Cloud isn’t about saving money; it’s about being able to do some new things much
faster and more simply, more flexibly, but not more cheaply.”
8. RUSSIA’S STRATEGIES SHIFT EAST, BUT HOW MUCH?
Nik Gowing, Main Presenter, BBC World News: “For the past 300 years, St.
Petersburg symbolized Russia’s determination to look towards the West… but with
economic growth rates in Asia much higher than in Europe, looking East is suddenly
9. INVESTMENTS IN AGRICULTURE AS THE BASIS FOR ENSURING GLOBAL FOOD
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director, World Bank Group:
“There is a potential to improve, by investing long-term. We at the World Bank
Group are planning to increase investments from $6 billion a year to $8 billion in
agriculture, and this should support an increase in supply all over the world.”
10. NUCLEAR ENERGY AFTER FUKUSHIMA Hon. Bill Richardson, Former (30th) Governor
of New Mexico, US Secretary of Energy (1998–2001), and US Ambassador to the
United Nations (1997–1998), Chairman of the executive advisory service Global
Political Strategies (GPS), APCO Worldwide:
“Demand for energy will increase by 65% by the year 2035. And meeting this
challenge will require a diverse energy portfolio.”
The Forum also continued its traditional cooperation with its global information partners and the practice of holding events in the form of televised debates.
BBC held a televised debate at the Forum venue on the role played by China and South-East Asian countries in Russia’s foreign trade strategy.
CNBC held a televised debate on the impact emerging markets’ financial systems have on the global economy.
The second day of the Forum saw the signing of 44 contracts worth a total of RUB 150 billion.
The largest contracts include:
• Between the Russian Federation, the International Finance Corporation, and Vnesheconombank on participation of the Russian Federation in establishing a Capitalization Fund for Russian Banks to make private equity investments in Russian medium-sized private banks, mostly regional ones, for the purpose of supporting the real economy sector – $50 billion
• A contract for the acquisition of two Mistral warships valued at 1.2 billion euros (RUB 48.4 billion)
• Between OOO RusVinyl with a bank consortium of BNP Paribas, ING Bank N.V., HSBC France, Sberbank, and EBRD – RUB 30.1 billion.
A comfortable negotiation area set up jointly with Ernst & Young was available at the Forum venue for free-of-charge reservations. Seventy-three pre-scheduled meetings took place there during the second day.
The second day of the Forum ended with a traditional reception for the Forum’s guests and participants hosted by the Governor of St. Petersburg at the Mikhailovsky Garden.