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Alexey Mordashov, Chairman of PAO Severstal, chaired the VIII Northern Dimension Forum, which was held on 6 April 2017 in Saint-Petersburg. More than 200 delegates attended the event.
The aim of the forum was to boost cooperation between the authorities, business and civil society in the participating countries of the Northern Dimension. This year the Northern Dimension Business Council (NDBC) and the Association of European Businesses (AEB), who organised the forum, chose the theme of new technologies and how they shape the life. During the forum, participants discussed the opportunities that can help to economic development of Northern Dimension regions.
At the forum presentations were made by senior representatives of European and Russian ministries and departments, and company executives. They included: Anastasia Kuznetsova, Deputy Plenipotentiary Presidential Envoy in the Northwest Federal District; Andrey Kelin, Director for European Cooperation, Member of the Collegium, Ministry of foreign affairs in Russia; Vygaudas Usackas, EU Ambassador for the Russian Federation; Rolf Bösinger, State Secretary, Ministry of Economy, Transport and Innovation, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Germany; Johan Vanderplaetse, Senior Vice-President, Schneider Electric; President for Russia and the CIS Schneider Electric; Alexander Borisov, General Director, OJSC Scientific and Technical Pharmaceutical Company “Polysan”; Petri Kujala, Managing Director, Fazer Bakery; Executive Vice President, Fazer Group and others.
The forum was also attended by representatives of regional authorities, for example Sergey Movchan, Vice - Governor of St.Petersburg; Oleg Kuvshinnikov, Governor of Vologda Oblast; Veronika Minina, Deputy Governor of the Novgorod region; Maxim Kiselnikov, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Economic Development and Investment Activity of Leningrad region.
At the forum roundtable meetings were held regarding: energy, machine building and engineering, ecology and cleantech, transport and logistics, medicine and pharmaceuticals, creative industries - digital solutions for businesses.
Alexey Mordashov, Chairman of PAO Severstal, Co-chairman of Northern Dimension Business Council:
«New technology will drive significant change and opportunities for the Northern Dimension and for the global community. New tools that have recently been developed have made it possible to improve production processes even further. For the metals industry, this has had an economic impact of at least 300 billion dollars. But with this huge potential come serious risks. For instance, we have to keep in mind the possible social implications. In my personal view it is a free market economy that will help us to mitigate this risk. Alongside this, we should not forget the impact of new technology on our ecology. Forums like the Northern Dimension enable us to find practical solutions that will let us take advantage of Industry 4.0 whilst mitigating these risks».
Tapio Kuula, Member of the Board, Fortum Corporation; Co-Chairman of the Northern Dimension Business Council (NDBC);
«I see the energy sector as a tool for future co-operation and integration in the Northern Dimension area. The EU is the most important client for the Russian energy sector – and Russia is the most important supplier for the EU. There are further development prospects also in the electricity sector. Well-functioning, pragmatic and good EU-Russia co-operation in the energy sector could increase wealth and global competitiveness in the whole Northern Dimension area».
Thomas Staertzel, Chairman of the AEB Board:
“We are confident that the cooperation between government bodies, NGOs, business organizations and the business community in general from the Russian North-Western region and Northern European countries can contribute to the economic development of the region. This Forum remains one of the very few platforms for the dialogue between the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Russia on an equal footing and we are glad that this channel of communication remains open. The Northern Dimension initiative shall stand as an example of cross-border cooperation and I am confident that this example could pave the way to the development of other regional initiatives”.
Frank Schauff, AEB CEO:
“The Northern Dimension Forum was organised for the eighth time in order to raise the most essential issues for the entire business environment. The Russian North-Western District remains for the AEB a key region as it plays a strategic role in the EU-Russia relations being the main gateway from Russia to Europe.
The development of modern technologies in all industries can contribute to the prosperity and security not only in the Baltic Sea regions, but also in other regions of Russia”.The forum organizers have set the date of the VIII Northern Dimension Forum: it will be on April 5, 2018 in St. Petersburg.