16 June 2010

We thought *you* had jobs for *us* - Russian version

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is about encouraging foreigners to invest in Russian development.

The focus of this year's forum will be Russia's modernization, which is captured in its slogan, "Laying the foundation for the future." There will be a special emphasis on making deals with energy and high-tech companies, as well as large financial corporations, Presidential Aide Arkady Dvorkovich said during a news briefing at RIA Novosti on June 15.

So why exactly is a Canadian politician desperately looking for investment in his own province headed all the way to the former Russian capital for a conference about expanding the Russian economy?

Good question, especially considering he is just another one of the thousands headed there as attendees.

Not a keynote speaker.

Not an organizer.

Just another nametag in the room.

The plan is to sign more agreements and memoranda with foreign partners at this year's forum than ever before, Mr. Dvorkovich said.

"We expect that you won't be able to count the signed investment agreements on even two hands," he said, adding that European investors plan to announce a "significant expansion" of investment in Russia.

Something says someone got confused about which St. Petersburg the forum was in.

This one isn’t conveniently close to home.