The St. Petersburg Economic Forum bills itself as Russia's most important economic event. Harder times and a 25 per cent budget cut mean the organizers are accepting foreign sponsors for the first time and the entertainment and parties for Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other forum-goers might be a cut below last year's. Pink Floyd's Roger Waters starred in 2008. President Dmitry Medvedev will open Day Two, and is expected to assess the global economic situation.
Gazprom is the official sponsor in 2009, as it was in 2008. Some 2000 delegates are expected, 300 fewer than in 2008. They include official delegations and some 600 Russian and foreign business executives. The forum, now in its 13th year, has traditionally been the premiere event for Russian companies and foreign investors to announce and sign major partnerships. Apr/09
Date written/update: 2009-04-06