Dear friends,

Spring has finally settled in the city, the sun shines in the window offices, and May holidays are fast approaching!

On April 1st, Quality of life Committee invited SPIBA members to the next SPIBA Art – Breakfast, dedicated to the art of photography. At this time, the meeting was attended by leading photographer of the State Hermitage – Yuri Molodkovets, author of photos to more than 200 catalogs and albums devoted to collections and collections of the Hermitage and books on the history and architecture of St. Petersburg. Yuri is known as one of the most interesting photographers of St. Petersburg, which actively cooperates with Russian and foreign art magazines and art publications on art, architecture and design, organizes large-scale photographic projects in the exhibition spaces of Russia and Europe. At Art- breakfast Yuri talked about art photography, his international experience and current projects initiated under the 250th anniversary of the State Hermitage. Also at the breakfast we spoke about creative solutions for businesses using photographs, light, space and music.

On the eve of the summer season, when the young professionals  are looking for work, and some are looking for internships, we held a round table “From summer internships to strategic partnership: best practices of interaction between business and universities “ at the Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University.  OnApril 2nd the meeting was attended by over 70 experts from leading companies of Northwestern Federal District, and experts shared their experiences in the field of recruitment. The event was attended by representatives from companies such as 3M, PwC, Coca-Cola HBC Eurasia, JSC “Rostelecom”, “Baltika”, part of Carlsberg Group, JTI and others. The moderators of the roundtable were Karina Khabacheva, Executive Director of SPIBA and Irina Stepanova, Manager HR Operations Russia, Philip Morris Izhora.

On April 3rd, 2014 in the hall “St. Petersburg” of hotel Corinthia a General Meeting of the association members with Eduard V. Batanov – Chairman of the Finance Committee of St. Petersburg, took place. At the meeting were discussed the current financial state of the economy of St. Petersburg, as well as tax and budget policy of St. Petersburg in the coming years. The meeting was attended by representatives of SPIBA member-companies, including presidents, company directors, heads of departments. At the General Meeting were also presented the new candidates for the election of the Executive Committee and candidates for the position of SPIBA Executive Director. Summing up the meeting, Stefan Van Doorslaer, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SPIBA noted that the interaction of business and government promotes the interests of society and helps build mechanisms of state support for companies, including the global crisis.

On April 10th SPIBA jointly with the British training company Canning held the seminar “Masters in International Communication” in English. Jane Everett, Senior Training Consultant Canning, introduced new methods of negotiation in an international context. The main focus of the seminar was aimed at overcoming cultural differences, building long-term relationship and achieving goals.

On April 11th, PwC presented to the HR managers the results of their research at the roundtable “Future of HR: trends, forecasts, research results”. Guests of the meeting got interesting results of research in the field of personnel management and new trends identified and discussed issues such as the differences between HR in St. Petersburg and Leningrad region from other regions of Russia, the future of HR in the light of global changes and expectations of senior executives in the slice of HR Management.

Representatives of Investor Relations branch of “Special Economic Zones” in St. Petersburg on April 15th met with members of SPIBA and talked about the possibilities of accommodation enterprises manufacturing sector in SEZ in St. Petersburg. The Head of Investor Relations Branch, Andrey Ivanov, spoke on the current Law on Special Economic Zones Russia that is being amended.  A key amendment is the introduction of the notion of Federal Special Economic Zone (FOEZ), which includes all the 17 Special Economic Zones of Russia, managed by JSC “SEZ”. Investors of FOEZ can now conclude agreements on the conduct of activities in any SEZ, regardless of the type of SEZ, as the concept of “type of SEZ” actually canceled. In particular, with regard to SEZ technical innovation type (TVT) “St. Petersburg”, with the changes to the law it is possible to organize production facilities on its territory without the prerequisite product development in the SEZ. You can find more information on the event in Russian by following the link.

On April 17th in anticipation of Easter, SPIBA Quality of Life Committee continued a series of meetings in the framework “SPIBA Cultural Discoveries” with the tour to the museum Faberge at Shuvalov Palace. The basis of the museum’s collection is the world’s largest collection of works by Carl Faberge, which includes nine famous imperial Easter eggs that have great value not only as the highest objects of jewelry, but also as unique historical artifacts. Also in the museum there is a collection of arts and crafts created by Russian masters of the second half of XIX – early XX century. Guests enjoyed a tour of the newly restored palace of Shuvalovs and admired the splendor of the imperial collection of eggs and jewelry.

On April 24th SPIBA and the Royal Danish Consulate General in St. Petersburg hosted a reception on the occasion of a visit to St. Petersburg Danish business delegation consisting of the heads of major Danish companies representing various sectors. The purpose of the delegation’s visit to St. Petersburg – acquaintance with the business environment, political and investment climate in Russia. On the part of the association, the meeting was attended by top officials of SPIBA members-companies. At official welcoming speech Consul General of Denmark, Mr. Klaus Sørensen, spoke about the unique investment opportunities in Russia. Finn Andersen, Director of the Danish Cultural Institute, where the event was held, greeted the delegation and wished productive acquaintance with the business community in St. Petersburg. Stefan Van Doorslaer, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SPIBA, completed the formal part of receiving a brief presentation of the association. The culmination of the evening was a buffet and business networking.

On April 25th, SPIBA held a second meeting of a new project designed for expats living and working in Russia. The meeting entitled “Expat Life in Russia: Guidelines to Success” was held at the Hotel Domina Prestige. This time we tried to highlight relevant issues faced by foreigners in Russia: migration and visa issues, the termination of the contract with the employer, health care and business etiquette in Russia. The meeting was held in a relaxed and positive atmosphere, guests of the meeting asked questions and gladly shared their personal experiences.

On April 28th we invited specialists and heads of HR departments on a master class “Acting for HR and other managers” that was lead by Honored Artist of Russia Mikhail Chernyak. Michael talked about how to improve the atmosphere in the team, using psychological techniques and develop staff in terms of acting and psychological context. At the end, the guests had the opportunity to tour the new boutique hotel Hotel Indigo St. Petersburg Tchaikovsky.

We wish you wonderful spring holidays and see you in May!