On July 6th SPIBA held its regular General Meeting at the Grand Hotel Europe. The main guest of the event was Kirill Soloveitchik, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Economic Development, Industrial Policy and Trade of St. Petersburg. This meeting was held in a form of an open conversation between business and government. Representatives from companies such as Nissan, Jetro, BSH Bitowije Pribory, Unilever, Capital Legal Services and Ancor Staff Leasing, described their variety of experiences of both how the city government supports development of businesses and about specific problems that have become barriers for their work. Mr. Soloveitchik replied to most of the questions, giving comments and advice for businesses and then he offered his support in dealing with many of these issues. SPIBA has agreed to start similar regular meetings, which will be held once a quarter. The results of these specific actions will be presented at these meetings. Presentations and photos can be viewed on the SPIBA website.

On July 12th SPIBA held a “Get Together” at the Old Customs House restaurant. The hospital host for the event was Anthony William Gear, who has been responsible for the development of the restaurant and for creating a welcoming atmosphere for SPIBA members . Old Customs House restaurant is one of the very first successful projects in the restaurant business in St. Petersburg. Photos from the event can be found here. We are very grateful to the restaurant for this invitation and for providing us with a wonderful entertaining evening.

On July 14th SPIBA and the newspaper “Stroitelny Ezhenedelnik” organized a round table discussion on theImpractical monuments. Inconvenience for the sake of image. The use of real property objects to protective legislation”. The conversation was sharp and emotional and none of the participants were indifferent to the discussion. Legislation in this area still has a lot of “white spots”, therefore the personal experience and information that was related by participants from this face- to-face discussion was very important. The main question discussed by participants was can a balance between preserving the historic appearance of the city and the opportunity to invest in commercial real estate exist. Further questions discussed were “What exactly should be carefully restored and maintained?” and “What objects should be entirely rebuilt, creating examples of the “modern replica”?” The moderator of the event was ValeryGribanov, chief editor of “Stroitelny Ezhenedelnik”. Speakers of the meeting included: Alexander Grishin, Vice President of NP “Guild of Managers and Developers”; Alexei Belousov, member of ZAGS and Vice President of SRO NP Builders Association of St. Petersburg; Igor Vodopyanov, Manager of the Criminal Code “Teorema”; Elena Chegotova, Chief Legal Counselor of the Department of Supervision of the Enforcement of Legislation in Construction, State service of construction supervision over the implementation of legislation in construction legislation; Evgeny Shirstov, Senior Lawyer in real Estate and Investment Practices, “Kachkin and Partners”; Natalia Chereyskaya, Director of the Department Brokerage Firm, NAIBecar; Svetlana Pervushina, Head of Engineering Services in the Construction Company “Irbis”; Dmitry Abramov, CEO of BTC Development; Igor Burdinskiy, the owner of the Cultural Center “Krasnoje Znamya”; Andrey Pushkarsky, General Manager of the managing company “Senator”; Irina Teterina, Chief Architect of “The State Russian Museum.”

On July 21st SPIBA held its regular Finance Committee meeting. The theme of the meeting was “The Development of electronic document circulation in Russia – trends and prospects. Electronic invoices. Electronic factoring”This topic was suggested by representatives of several major international companies such as Bosh & Siemens and Bitowije Prybory.
More than 35 SPIBA members that are representatives of large companies in our city were involved in this committee work. The meeting was chaired by Tatiana Modeeva, CEO of “Acsour”, but other experts in the field also spoke. Elena Barvitskaya, Director of the St. Petersburg branch of Taxcom made a presentation on the “Development of electronic document management in Russia – trends and prospects. Electronic invoices”. Sergey Vasiliev, Director of the St. Petersburg Representative Office, Bank NFK, spoke about “Factoring”, which provides a range of services for companies doing work on deferred payment.  “Electronic factoring” is a system that allows the transfer of documents between a client and the factoring company in an electronic form.

For the first time in the history of the Finance Committee an event was attended by representatives of the Russian Federation UFNS of St. Petersburg. Natalya Akimova, Deputy Head of Information Technology, told us about new opportunities offered to web site users of FTS of Russia. Akimova highlighted the main issues and prospects for electronic document management in Russia and briefed those present on the job which leads UFNS Russian in St. Petersburg in preparation for the adoption of electronic invoices at the request of tax authorities in accordance with the Order of the Federal Tax Service № @ MMV-7-2/168 from February 17, 2011. Questions asked by participants showed a great interest in the topic of electronic documentation and, in particular, in electronic invoices. A constructive dialogue and work with tax authorities, which took place at SPIBA, showed an openness and willingness of the parties involved to cooperate with each other.

July 26th SPIBA HR Committee held a meeting on the topic: “Student Agreement: Theory and Practice.” Andrey Odabashyan, a lawyer from PwC. made a presentation on “The Theory of Apprenticeship Agreement”, where he answered questions to the following questions: What are the different types of apprenticeship contracts? What risks occur during this type of usage? What are the trends in judicial practices?  In addition, Ivan Popov, a lawyer from PwC commented on several issues relating to this topic. We thank all those present at the meeting for their active participation!

On the same day, July 26, hosted a meeting of the SPIBA Committee on Environment and Safety Department with the heads of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor) in the Northwest Federal District: Oksana Vasilyevna Avdienko, Deputy Head of the Department, Lily Gelmutdinovnoy Moskovkin , Head of the Administration Fees and Licensing Activities, Pribytkova Borisovna Vera, Deputy Head of Environmental Control and Frolova, Svetlana Alexandrovna, Head of the State Environmental Review and Licensing. A lot of attention was focused on the organization’s environmental control facilities in waste management, the monitoring of air and wastewater discharges, as well as practical recommendations on a program of environmental monitoring methods for assessing environmental damage and possible recovery of compensation from contractors (in the case violations of environmental requirements). Lily Moskovkina, Oxana and Svetlana Frolova Avdienko gave open and very professional responses from questions asked by participants.

SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee began a new series of tours to the company Look @ It, which will focus on success stories of major brands in the St. Petersburg market.
Each tour will include a visit to a store or business, but the ability to watch and learn not only the company’s strategy, but also how it is implemented.
Our first pilot project was dedicated to Fazer, the Finnish company with a 120 year history. We all know Fazer from their production of its Geisha chocolates, but Fazer not only produces delicious sweets, it has gradually become a leader in the manufacturing of bakery products in our city and region. Fazer also operates a chain of cafes and restaurants and is a provider of catering services, organizing food in the workplace.
On July 27th, we met for breakfast at a cafe in the Fazer in Stockmann (Nevsky Center) shopping center. Fazer Stockmann (Nevsky Centre). Irina Galiyeva, Deputy Director of Communications for Fazer, gave a presentation of the company, where she related many stories about the brand. After enjoying a delicious breakfast, SPIBA participants were invited to tour the Stockmann supermarket, Fazer bar and dining room, and employee cafeteria.
We are very grateful to the Fazer company and personally to Irina Galiyeva for her hospitality and her presentation about the history of Fazer. Photos from the event can be found here.
On July 28th there was a working meeting of the Committee on Finance. SPIBA devoted a discussion to the topic of a possible legislative initiative to automate the procedure of exchange controls for foreign economic activity (FEA). The main reason for this problem is that currently, in the process of exchange controls for foreign trade, involves three problems:
1. Banks offer passport transactions for foreign economic transactions using banking software
2. Customs authorities use customs declaration in electronic form on the basis of open-bank transaction passports, but the use a custom’s computer programs
3. Commercial organizations that deal with FEA transfer make transactions from the bank’s passport to customs and customs of the CCD to the bank on paper. Our suggestion: arrange the possibility of transferring the documents required for foreign exchange control with the help of specialized operators in electronic form, certified by EDS. Take as an example the experience tax authorities and as a provider – company Taxcom.  Even the transfer of Freight customs declaration from customs authorities automatically in the bank will help a lot with companies, that have external economic activity.