6th Petersburg Forum opens in St. Petersburg

The 6th Petersburg Economic Forum opens in St. Petersburg on Wednesday. It is expected that the forum will gather Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, Vice Premier Alexei Kudrin, Chairman of the Board of RAO Russia's Unified Energy Systems Anatoly Chubais, Chairman of the Audit Chamber Sergei Stepashin, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Jean Lemierre, Director-General of the World Trade Organization Michael Moore, Chairman of Russia's Chamber of Commerce and Industry Yevgeny Primakov, and Minister of Economic Development and Trade German Gref.

The objective of the PEF is to organize a wide, representative and independent discussion of economic development in the Commonwealth of Independent States, of the role of CIS states in the global economic process and of prospects for new markets, and to streamline investment into the economies of these states by means of raising the investment attractiveness of Russian regions.

The previous five forums presented more than 4,000 investment projects, the majority of which have already been realized, say PEF organizers.

According to Sergei Mironov, the Chairman of the PEF Organizing Committee and the Chairman of the Federation Council, or the upper house of the Russian parliament, forum participants "get a chance to search for an answer to the following question: How do we ensure steady and just development of the world, welfare and tranquillity in our common home and in the home of everyone of us?" "In the 21st century, the acutest problems become global, and we shall need to join our efforts to solve them," said Mironov.

At the forum's plenary session, which is scheduled for Wednesday, forum participants will hear reports on development of economic reforms in the second decade of the CIS' existence and on Russia's accession to the WTO. In the course of discussions in five of the forum's sections, they will also discuss Russia and Ukraine's joint approach to the task of deepening economic integration in the CIS, economic and investment capacity of the Central Federal District, problems and prospects for taxes and entrepreneurship, and management of Russia's minerals and raw materials complex.

One of the forum's sections will present the 2002 Baikal economic forum called "Business and Health of the Nation."

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