About the Forum

St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF)

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is a unique event in the world of business and economics. SPIEF has been held since 1997, and since 2006, it has been held under the auspices of the President of the Russian Federation, who has also attended each event.

Over the last 24 years, the Forum 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 24th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is set to take place on 2–5 June 2021. As in previous years, the business programme will focus on the global and Russian economies, social issues, and technological development.

The Forum will be held in strict accordance with health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, carefully drawn up by the Organizing Committee in line with the WHO recommendations. SPIEF 2021 will provide a full range of services to enable participants to effectively nurture and expand their business network and enjoy safe, productive participation, including in an enriching cultural and sporting programme.

SPIEF 2021 was the first business event of such magnitude to be held offline since the unavoidable break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Forum closely resembled previous editions of the event, with a range of cutting-edge digital technologies employed. Among those to attend were President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin; a host of global leaders; senior executives from major Russian and international companies and banks; and prominent scientists, journalists, and members of the business community.


The Forum was held under the theme A Collective Reckoning of the New Global Economic Reality, and addressed the clear need to return to face-to-face discussions in an attempt to turn innovative ideas into tangible breakthroughs across the globe. Indeed, the business programme alone included more than 190 events, with more than 80 events organized at special thematic areas.

The Forum’s main event was the plenary session, which took place on 4 June and featured President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. Joining the session via video link were specially invited guests Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, and Sebastian Kurz, Federal Chancellor of Austria. Also welcoming participants were Alberto Fernández, President of Argentina, and Jair Messias Bolsonaro, President of Brazil.

The Forum featured talks and appearances by more than 1,300 Russian and international speakers, moderators, and politicians over the course of four days. Together, they were able to share their knowledge, experience, and best practices with participants.

Discussions at the Forum centred around four thematic pillars, with each one dedicated to particular aspects concerning the Russian and global economy, the social sphere, and the tech agenda. These were entitled “Joining Forces to Advance Development”, “Delivering on National Development Targets”, “The Human Factor in Responding to Global Challenges”, and “New Technology Frontiers”.

A range of business dialogues between Russia and other countries/regions were also held, and as in previous years garnered particular interest. Eleven such events took place at SPIEF 2021, including Russia–Qatar, Russia–France, Russia–Africa, Russia–Italy, Russia–Latin America, Russia–Germany, Russia–North America, Russia–Finland, Russia–Sweden, Russia–Japan, and Russia–ASEAN.

Another event to take place at SPIEF was the 6th Russian Small and Medium sized Enterprises Forum, which focused on measures to support businesses.

The International Youth Economic Forum was one of the highlights of the closing day of SPIEF. Young entrepreneurs, students, and leaders from non-profit organizations gathered to talk to renowned international experts about today’s biggest economic and political issues.

This year’s SPIEF hosted the inaugural edition of the Drug Security Forum, the Creative Business Forum, and SPIEF Junior, which was attended by 200 school pupils from across Russia, together with their peers from Qatar – the guest country of the Forum.


The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum welcomed officials, leading figures in politics and society, and business representatives from 141 countries across the globe. Forty-three foreign ministers and 84 heads of diplomatic corps from 93 countries also took part in the Forum.


Many of the events on the SPIEF cultural programme took place as part of the St. Petersburg Seasons Festival, which hosted more than 30 events across a range of themes.

The central event of the St. Petersburg Seasons Festival was a tribute concert for medics and volunteers, which took place on 3 June on Palace Square, and which was enjoyed by locals, visitors, and participants alike. The concert featured performances by Diana Arbenina of Russian pop group Night Snipers and the Teatro Petruzzelli Symphony Orchestra (Bari, Italy).


A range of events across 12 sporting disciplines were held under the sports and entertainment programme. SPIEF participants competed in basketball and football gala matches, as well as golf, chess, tennis, squash, and skeet shooting.


The SPIEF Investment & Business Expo was another feature of this year’s Forum. In total, 48 organizations and Russian regions took part as exhibitors, showcasing their investment potential, current projects, latest technologies, products, and solutions.


An unprecedented set of sanitary and epidemiological requirements were in place for this year’s Forum.

All participants were required to provide a negative PCR test for COVID-19 in order for their accreditation badge to be activated. Only then were they able to access the venue. To enter the Forum venue, participants had to pass through checkpoints where they had their temperature measured with thermographic cameras and hand thermometers. Strict checks were also in place to ensure that people used personal protective equipment.

Indeed, one of the main outcomes of the Forum was that a set of safety standards had been drawn up for holding major events all over the world during the pandemic. These standards were developed by the Roscongress Foundation in cooperation with Rospotrebnadzor and the World Health Organization.

More information is available in the SPIEF 2021: Key Outcomes section.

Legal entities and individuals registered in the Russian Federation or abroad who have contributed to the organization and preparation of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum are eligible to become SPIEF partners. This contribution may take the form of material, financial, technical, or other support, by agreement with the Forum organizers and in accordance with the terms of a signed agreement.

Being a partner provides unparalleled business promotion opportunities at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

If you are interested in becoming a partner of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, please send an email to partners@roscongress.org or fill in an application form in the Become a partner section of our website. 

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will host the SPIEF Investment & Business Expo – a unique space for creating constructive dialogue, seeking solutions, joining forces, and sharing experience among Forum participants.

The exhibition will run throughout the Forum, and will be open to all participants.

For more detailed information on the SPIEF Expo, see the Exhibition section of the website.

Each year, a series of major regional events, business forums, and meetings between members of the business community is held as part of efforts to promote the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The Roscongress Foundation holds a series of events in Russia and abroad, including Russia’s Regions: New Areas of Growth (a joint project with the Russian Export Center and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives), and SPIEF off-site sessions aimed at supporting continuous cooperation between Russian and foreign officials, and the business and scientific communities. 

For more detailed information about SPIEF off-site events, see the SPIEF Events section.

The Roscongress Information and Analytical System is a unique Roscongress Foundation knowledge base.

The Roscongress Information and Analytical System takes best practices from global development institutions and combines them with Russian information analysis tools to provide quick and easy access to all resources related to major business events in Russia that are organized by the Roscongress Foundation.

Features of the interactive knowledge base:

  • Descriptions of more than 2000 sessions across 271 topics covering global and national development

  • Talks, interviews, and insights from more than 8,500 speakers

  • Research studies, articles, analytical digests, and expert opinions


Since 2016 the main events of SPIEF take place at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre.

ExpoForum is a modern convention and exhibition centre that meets the standards of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI).

For more information on the Forum venue, see the Forum venue section of our website. For detailed information about the geography, history, and key landmarks of St. Petersburg, see the About St. Petersburg section of our website.