5 June, Start Day of SPIEF 2019 hosted a number of special events: Russian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Forum (SME), various seminars, roundtables, sessions organized by partners of the Roscongress Foundation. The events have been attended by over 2800 participants, while more than 900 media representatives provided coverage.
The anniversary 5th Russian SME Forum was co-organized by the Roscongress Foundation, SME Corporation and OPORA ROSSII. Discussions have followed four specialized tracks: youth, training, investment, and international. Young entrepreneurs and renowned experts discussed a wide range of issues, such as best Russian and international practices, running projects in different spheres, interaction between large and small business in industry and e-commerce, attracting investment into innovative projects, and export support.
Engagement to Entrepreneurship: On the Road to Success served as key event of the SME Forum. During his opening remarks, Alexander Kalinin, President of OPORA ROSSII said that «Promotion of entrepreneurship is a federal project now. Success of the economy is the success of small and medium-sized enterprises».
Roundtable A Strategy for Coupling the Greater Eurasian Partnership with the Belt and Road Initiative: the Search for Solutions launched the Roscongress partner sessions during the Start Day. The event focused on major directions of Russian-Chinese partnership. According to Chen Zhigang, Vice President of Chinese Business Centre and Chairman of the Chinese Association of St. Petersburg «Both internal and external factors today call for new approaches. New integration standards have to be developed».
The Russian-Chinese partnership was further discussed at the panel session Regional Cooperation Between Russia and China. What Next? which concluded the 4th Russian-Chinese Business Forum. Representatives of government, business, and export communities discussed the issues of state support and financing international trade. Vladimir Padalko, Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation noted that «currently, over 50 regions of Russia have economic ties to China, while 75 have Chinese capital present».
Waste management was a relevant topic during the Start Day. The plenary session Cleaning Up the Country: Reforming the Waste Management Sector brought together federal government officials, governors, and experts. Speaking at the session, Dmitry Kobylkin, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation commented on the challenges the reform brings, as well as the efforts of the ministry: «There is enormous work ahead, but I am confident we are going to make it».
Solid waste recycling has been discussed at Income from Waste: Making the Industry Attractive to Investors and Legislative Regulation of the Waste Management Sector.
Panelists of The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed: On the Path to Sustainable Development through a Dialogue Between Government and Business used the example of the event industry as one of the most dynamic developing spheres globally to discuss the best examples of state and business interaction. The panel was organized by the Russian Convention Bureau (RCB) and supported by the Roscongress Foundation. Alexey Kalachev, CEO of RCB noted that «territories with vigorous support from local governments» place the highest on the list of regions with event potential.
SPIEF Presentation Area hosted the premiere of Growth Navigator, a programme designed by EY. Maria Bantysh, Head of EY CIS Business Development Department, told that the programme is tailored towards small and medium-sized business: it analyzes seven key growth aspects and recommends a set of improvement initiatives. The demo version of the company is available throughout the entire Forum.
Woman and Leader: Concept of Balance session was hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Leningrad Region. The event aimed to promote womens entrepreneurship. Blurring the lines between private and work spheres is something we have to live with today, while the art of balancing work and family is something that every successful woman needs today.
The topics covered during the Start Day will be further discussed during the SPIEF 2019 main business programme.