St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Opens; No Obama To Discourage US Companies' Attendance
On Thursday the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) opened, and will continue with presentations and discussions on scientific and technological breakthroughs and planned development projects, presented in panels through Saturday, June 3.
The May 31 Forbes magazine gives an indication of the high-level guest participants: India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, and the leadership of Russia.
Forbes correctly lays the blame squarely on Obama for the low attendance by U.S. corporations in recent years:
"After several years of low attendance, during which the Obama administration actively discouraged U.S. businesses from participating in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia's largest international business gala, this year sees the return of American companies in sufficient numbers to run a separate U.S.-Russia roundtable for the first time in the Forum's history."
The panel discussion topics pose immediate questions for mankind: space science, health, infrastructure, nuclear energy, the possibility of a European-Eurasian integration; healthcare, the Changing Economics of Transportation and Logistics; Russia-India; EAEU-Latin American cooperation; New Frontiers in Scientific Advancement; Building the Infrastructure for Eurasia's Future; Russia-USA; Putting Long-term Capital to Work for Infrastructure Development; Russia-Italy; A New Standard in Economic Cooperation; The Future Being Born Today: Integration and Infrastructure Projects in Eurasia; the BRICS, the SCO, The BRI, the EAEU, — all of which will shape the future.
Friday, at the most highly-attended President's session, Russian President Putin, Prime Minister Modi, and other heads of state will speak, with U.S. journalist Megyn Kelly, now with NBC-TV, moderating and interviewing President Putin. Putin is also scheduled to meet with over 40 heads of sovereign funds from 23 countries, which collectively manage $11.4 trillion, according to Kiril Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund. The Administration for the Leningrad region, which surrounds the city of St. Petersburg, is set to sign 130 deals worth over $5 billion.
On June 2, the U.S. Russia Business Council Roundtable will be held, in which senior executives from some of America's leading biggest corporations, including Boeing, Caterpillar, General Electric, and Phillip Morris International will participate.