SPIEF 2024: Emerging multipolar world helps Russia override sanctions

SPIEF 2024 reveals the shifting balance in the world as Russia successfully navigates through the western sanctions with the global south's support.

SPIEF 2024: Emerging multipolar world helps Russia override sanctions

Photograph: Sergey Konkov/Roscongress

The St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2024, held at the iconic Russian city’s ExpoForum from June 5th to June 8th, saw a massive participation of over 21,000 participants from 139 countries. The SPIEF 2024 organising committee’s Executive Secretary Anton Kobyakov told the press that 982 agreements worth 6.43 trillion rubles (US$71.87bn) were signed during the Forum. Mr Kobyakov claimed that these are only those deals that are not commercially secret.

‘The Forum’, which entered its 27th year in 2024, has strengthened itself as one of the key discussion platforms for the solution of important economic problems of Russia, the BRICS countries and the world economy.

SPIEF 2024 highlights multipolarity

The SPIEF 2024, organised under the theme “Formation of New Areas of Growth as the Cornerstone of a Multipolar World”, not only brought together thousands of participants and paved the way for more trade and interactions among them, it also showed how the US-led collective West’s unilateral sanctions have failed to counter Russia’s growing influence, especially in the Global South.

During the plenary session of the SPIEF 2024 on June 7th, Russian President Vladimir Putin highlighted the failures of the West in containing Russia’s growth as well as the aspirations of the global south countries to live in a multipolar world. 

Vladimir Putin at a press conference. Photo: Valentina Pevtsova/Roscongress

“We can see that a real race is beginning between countries to promote their sovereignty at three key levels: the state, cultural values, and the economy. At the same time, countries that until recently were leaders in global development are striving to maintain their elusive role as hegemons, using any means necessary,” Mr Putin said.

“Despite all the obstacles we are facing and the illegitimate sanctions imposed against us, Russia remains one of the key participants in global trade and is rapidly expanding the new logistics and geography of cooperation,” Mr Putin added.

He cited the examples of Russia’s strengthening ties with the countries in Asia, with a 60% growth from 2020 to 2023), the Middle East, with a 100% growth, Africa, with a 69% growth, and Latin America with a 42% growth.

“We will continue to actively support non-resource and non-energy exports from Russia. By 2030, these exports should grow by at least two-thirds compared to 2023,” the president underscored.

The achievements of the St Petersburg city and Leningrad region

Highlighting the achievements of the St Petersburg city and the Leningrad region, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Maria Zakharova told the press, “We took note of the consistent efforts undertaken by the leadership of St Petersburg and the Leningrad Region to build up multifaceted interregional and foreign economic ties with friendly countries.”

“St Petersburg’s trade with Belarus grew by 11% last year to $2bn, and import increased by almost 40%. The Leningrad Region is among the leaders in terms of expanding trade with that republic, which now stands at nearly $1bn,” Ms Zakharova added.

She also claimed that there are now more frequent and extensive contacts with St Petersburg’s major trade partners resulting in increasing trade. Trade with China is up 53.6%, India 127.8% and Türkiye 72.5%.

Failing western sanctions

The US-led collective West’s sanctions had earlier failed preventing Russia from surmounting challenges and achieving economic growth. The participation of thousands from 139 out of 193 United Nations member countries in the SPIEF 2024, some even by going against their governments, shows that the West’s diktats aren’t working anymore.

“Foreign businessmen that continue working in our markets are present here [at SPIEF], and this is very important,” Russian news agency TASS quoted Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

“They have concerns as regards rampant pressure on the part of their governments. But they are here and are full of plans to work here,” Mr Peskov said highlighting how businesses are willing to invest in Russia despite sanctions.

As the SPIEF 2024 concluded successfully, it provided an optics of the West’s waning influence and grip over the global south, while also highlighting the latter’s diligent pursuit of a multipolar world.

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