The agenda includes dozens of conferences and roundtables. The Petersburg Forum is unofficially called “the Russian Davos”. In the conditions of current financial disturbances in world markets Russia demonstrates steady growth of its economy. In St.-Petersburg foreign investors have an opportunity to communicate and discuss further investment prospects. Besides, the Forum is also a big social event. The today’s cultural programme was opened by a performance of the Spivakov’s Orchestra and exclusive excursion to the Hermitage.
Yet, a key goal of the PIEF is promotion of economic relations and discussion of urgent international financial problems. A morning PIEF plenary session was devoted to national economic interests and global governance institutions. The forum agenda includes conferences devoted to climate change and global economy, partnership and competition of the energy sector, foreign investments and state-owned investment funds. Besides, conferences on international financial risks and global challenges to world food markets are also expected.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev addressed the morning PIEF session. In his speech he analyzed the reasons of major crises, financial and food, and proposed ways to their settlement. According to Medvedev, it is the USA, a principal shareholder of the financial market, which selfishness caused the crises. And only joint efforts of the most advanced and underdeveloped economies may make the situation more stable.
RIA Novosti reports as quoted to the President: "No matter how large the American market is and no matter how reliable its financial system is, it cannot serve as a substitute for global commodity and financial markets”.
The President said: "Such economic selfishness is a natural feature of economic activity and does not represent any serious threat to development in general, but on the other hand its manifestations are often accompanied by much more rigid ideological positions. In what can be described as economic nationalism, political considerations trump pragmatic interests.”
According to Medvedev, this confirms the necessity of reforming the global financial structure. The President believes that the financial crisis may be settled through modernization of a globalized financial regulatory system, and better coordination between the authorities responsible for different market segments. Medvedev indicated three key areas of modernization: the streamlining of regulatory institutions, creation of conditions for adequate assessment of those participating in the market, as well as evaluation of various financial instruments, and creation of an effective system of incentives for rational behavior based on a balanced assessment of risk and possibilities.
The criticism of Medvedev was combined with particular solutions of the aired problems. For example, the President claimed that Moscow is ready to participate in shaping the new rules of the game in the world market. Russia today is a global player. He emphasized: “We must recognize its responsibility for the destiny of the world and we want to participate in shaping the new rules of the game, not because of any so-called imperial ambitions, but simply because we have both the requisite capacity and resources”.
According to the President, the competitiveness of the Russian financial system would provide for transformation of Moscow into a powerful global financial center and transformation of the ruble into one of the leading regional reserve currencies. “To facilitate these things an action plan will be adopted in the very near future”, Medvedev said. As quoted to him, steps taken by Russia will not only strengthen the Russian fuel and energy complex but also contribute to the stability of global energy markets.