Astrakhan on 13 September 2017 hosted a visiting session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum ‘Russia’s Regions: New Areas of Growth. Investment in the Real Sector’ in the Southern Federal District, which was organized by the Roscongress Foundation jointly with the Russian Export Center and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. The session continued a cycle of events that aim to expand investment opportunities, develop the export potential of the regions, and promote specific territories.
The SPIEF session in Astrakhan generated significant interest among representatives of government and entrepreneurs from the Astrakhan Region and other regions of the Southern Federal District. The event was attended by leading experts in investments, employees of public organizations, and the media. The plenary session speakers included Astrakhan Region Governor Alexander Zhilkin, Acting Chief Federal Inspector of the Office of the Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in the Southern Federal District Yuri Averin, Agency for Strategic Initiatives Corporate Director Elena Myakotnikova, Russian Export Center Interregional Communications Director Dmitry Makeyev, Industrial Development Fund Director Roman Petrutsa, and EY CIS Analytical Centre Director Alexei Rybnikov.
Commenting on the importance of the discussions in Astrakhan, Astrakhan Region Governor Alexander Zhilkin stressed: "It is very important for us that the ideas of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum are being transformed at the regional level".
The main discussion theme at the venue was attracting investment to the real sector of the economy. The participants discussed the establishment of institutions and mechanisms to support industrial development – from attracting funding as well as searching for and implementing technological solutions to helping find sales markets in the country and abroad. They spoke about growth in statistical indicators. “Today, 29 production facilities have opened with the participation of the Industrial Development Fund in various regions of the country, and 172 projects have already been funded. I am confident that even more applications from the Astrakhan Region will be coming in now thanks to the SPIEF visiting session organized by Roscongress”, Director of the Industrial Development Fund Roman Petrutsa said.
During the second part of the business programme, the participants had a special briefing session of the Russian Export Center at which they were able to learn about the organization’s key projects to support Russian business and help promote Russian products on foreign markets.
Concluding the event, plenary session moderator Irina Afonichkina noted: “It’s hard to overstate the importance of such sessions. This is an instance when representatives of government, small, medium, and large business, production companies, and business communities meet on one platform. A variety of issues and problems are raised in real time and, most importantly, solutions to them are found. The format of the SPIEF visiting sessions provides real support and assistance in developing the regions”.
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will be held on 24–26 May 2018.