With more than 17,000 participants from 140 countries, the international business forum in St Petersburg (SPIEF) is a major event in the business world. From 4-7 June, the Monaco Economic Board (MEB) seized the opportunity to arrange a trip to further strengthen already strong ties.
MEB relations with Russia are well established, after several Trade Missions to Moscow following a ‘Russian Year in Monaco’, before another mission planned to Rostov-on-Don from 18-20 September, and not to mention all the conferences and hosting delegations in the Principality, notably in March.
However, St Petersburg as the country’s second biggest economic region has not been explored in depth. It is why MEB Executive Director General Guillaume Rose, and Justin Highman who heads its Monaco Invest division took the opportunity of SPIEF to organise several work meetings, supported by H.E. Mireille Pettiti, Monaco Ambassador to Russia and Monaco’s Honorary Consuls in St Petersburg, Nikolaï Orlov and Igor Yurgens.
Meetings were held with leaders of loyal regional partners: Ekaterina Lebedeva, St Petersburg CCI Vice-President and Dimitry Panov, Business Russia St Petersburg President, accompanied by presidents of Innovation, International Trade, Tourism and Construction Commissions, and those from the neighbouring regions of Samara and Vladimir. Constructive discussions focused on opportunities and interests in common.
Benefiting from the extensive networks of Monaco’s Embassy and the two Consuls, the MEB received privileged treatment, and Igor Yurgens was also one of the speakers. The Monegasque delegation took part in plenary sessions and round tables, as well as meetings and working lunches during which they presented the Principality’s economy. On Thursday evening, there was a gala dinner attended by key decision-makers from Moscow and St Petersburg.
Feedback has been extremely positive. By further expanding relations with a key economic region and Russia in general, the MEB is now well-armed with knowledge of the “country-continent”. It should be able to offer entrepreneurs in the Principality yet more opportunities to expand their businesses at a Trade Mission to St Petersburg planned for 2020.