title: 'Putin and Merkel open St Petersburg Forum' published: true publish_date: '31-08-2016 14:56' taxonomy: category:

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    More than 4,000 business leaders, policymakers and experts are at the International Economic Forum in St Petersburg searching for ways to stimulate global growth. Pascal Lamy is director general of the WTO, which Russia joined last year. He spoke exclusively to VoR's Polina Chernitsa. The annual three-day gathering attracts politicians and business leaders from across the world, giving them an opportunity to discuss the most important economic and business issues facing Russia and the rest of the world. Participants at this year’s Forum include leading representatives from groups such as the IMF and WTO, as well as companies such as Deutsche Bank, BP, General Electric and Cisco. Politicians who will be attending include former British cabinet minister Lord Mandelson, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte and numerous members of the Russian government. Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich (left) and Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte (RIA Novosti) Significantly, the event starts and finishes with discussions relating to the role of the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – widely seen as increasingly important players on the international stage. First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov (left) and First Vice-Premier of the State Council of China, Zhang Gaoli (RIA Novosti) Other topics on the agenda include the future of the energy industry, international trade agreements and addressing world food problems.

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