by Ralph T. Niemeyer, Sankt Petersburg
One thing has become clear by now, many participants of the 24th Sankt Petersburg International Economic Forum, agree: the pandemic has not only led to a economic upheaval but also to a new world order that is in the making in the shadow of the worldwide panic over Covid-19.
While many leaders are not openly speaking about the pandemic being a kind of cover-up for a failed capitalistic economic model which comes to an end, Russian president Vladimir Putin used plain words for what we live through since the past one and a half years.
And, it is logic, if one considers the huge debt bubbles created by the financial merry-go-round that burst in 2008 and which led to casino-banks to be rescued over and over again by states which became a bill that only could be footed by the taxpayers.
The past neoliberal economic model created overcapacities in the wrong areas and caught us all by consumerism by not asking what of all that we got we would actually need but by telling us that all that we got we would need.
Waste of resources, feeding superfluous production cycles by ever higher growth rates that were required to keep an ailing economic model alive at the cost of ruinous wanton destruction of natural habitats, climate change and a dreadful income disparity resulting from exploitation of billions of human beings that live in poverty and being denied basic human rights for healthcare, clean water and a safe environment.
But, Mr. Putin understood, an economic model that was not accepted by the majority of citizens will never succeed in the long run. That’s why he developed a strategy by bringing Russia into pole position and also putting the pandemic behind faster than anyone else and shifted the paradigms of future world economic principles that everyone will have to adhere to when one wants to be in business. This will be sustainability and a new ecological approach.
If the cost of keeping the failed neoliberal economic model alive is ruinous growth, one should not discuss the price tag, but rather question the system.
From June 2 to June 5, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum was held in St. Petersburg on the territory of the Expoforum exhibition center. The event has been held annually since 1997 and is organized by the Roscongress Foundation.
Spief 2021 became the first event of this scale in the world since the beginning of the pandemic.
Before the pandemic, the number of forum participants each year exceeded 10,000 people from 120 countries.
In 2021, 13,000 participants from 140 countries visited SPIEF. As a result, more than 800 agreements were concluded for a total of 3.860 trillion rubles. All this testifies to the high status of the forum and its importance as a leading international platform for discussing global issues of the world economy and politics. Therefore, this year the main theme of the SPIEF was the slogan “Together again. Economics of the New Reality ”.
In his speech at the plenary session of the spief, Russian President V.V. Putin outlined such significant theses as the completion of the laying of the first string of Nord Stream 2, the extension of social support measures for the Russian population and the possibility of paid vaccination against COVID-19 for foreigners.
The spief participants note the high level of organization of the international event by the Roscongress Foundation and the significant role of the forum in the restoration of the world economy in the post-like period. After all, the COVID-19 epidemic in the world has demonstrated, to one degree or another, the dependence of the economies of different countries on each other. In this regard, the forum served as a necessary platform for the resumption of contacts at the highest level among representatives of the international community.