Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin delivered the opening plenary speech, and four other heads of states attended this years Forum: Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Kyrgyz Republic President Almazbek Atambayev, Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga.
In a broad ranging official program that emphasized interactions amongst the global leaders and encompassed key economic, political and technology issues shaping the global agenda, participants could chose from more than one hundred hours of plenary sessions, 28 panel interactive debates, 4 sectoral breakfasts and lunches, 10 roundtables, 7 presentations and other events involving politicians and businessmen from different countries. The Forum business programme included a total of 77 events (up from a total of 63 in 2011).
The SPIEF 2012 programme was built around four key content pillars: Securing the Future, Realizing Russia's Potential, Responding to Impact Technologies, Leadership in Focus.
The consensus amongst participants of the key issues facing Russia and the world included the European financial crisis, leadership changes in key economies, political instability in the Middle East, the volatility of energy prices, increased demand from coming from emerging markets, technological innovations and their impact on business and governance, new models of commercial cooperation in the energy sector, and the growing role of emerging economies in shaping regional and global agendas.
Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin outlined a broad foreign and domestic agenda in his major plenary speech, noting that he considered his main task ahead is the implementation of large-scale transformation for the country's political economy.
As per tradition, the Global Energy prize was awarded, with the jury commemorating developments in energy equipment for space. The recipients of the prize were the academics Boris Katorgin, Valery Kostyuk and UK scientist Rodney John Allam, with Ruble 33 million prize divided equally among the three recipients.
SPIEF 2012 expanded its televised debate series this year, involving both domestic and international broadcasters. Russia Today co-produced "European Crossroads: Post-Crisis Scenarios" and addressed the key measures that are need to be taken to strengthen confidence in the Euro Zone. Debates organized in cooperation with CNBC channel focused on the theme "Banking in the 21st Century: New Models for a New Era" while Bloomberg focused on "New Emerging Finance Centers". CNN co-hosted a debate on "BRIC Demand", while Caixin Media televised a debate on China's changing economic model, "Evolution or Disruption". And finally Reuters TV helped produce a session on the shifts in investment strategy to emerging market in the session "Identifying Alpha".
A series of one-on-one discussions entitled "Conversations to Make a Difference" were introduced as part of the SPIEF 2012 business programme which included respected Russian and foreign leaders in politics, business, finances and technology such as Henry Kissinger, Yevgeny Primakov, Gerard Lopez, Lloyd Blankfein, Oleg Deripaska, and others.
Agreements worth 360 billion rubles signed at SPIEF 2012, number of participants exceeds 5,300 people
The 2012 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum proved to be more fruitful in terms of agreements and contracts than in previous years. A total of 84 agreements were signed as part of SPIEF 2012 with 9 contracts having a combined value of more than 360 billion rubles, as well as 4 loan agreements for 164.4 billion rubles.
SPIEF 2012 was relatively balanced between Russian and international participants with 1,018 representatives from Russian businesses and 942 executives from international businesses. The participants in the official Forum programme included more than 157 chief executives of major multinational companies and 447 top executives from Russian companies. 290 government dignitaries and representatives of official delegations from 77 countries attended SPIEF in 2012.