March quickly flew by, and brought us a frosty freshness, bright sun and a lot of snow! Winter sports fans are happily looking out the windows, and for all the rest, we advise you not to get upset, because Spring is a time of hope and soon the warmth will come to every house and in every heart! We would like to tell you about how you can give warmth to those who need it more than ever! On March 1st at the Teatr Estrady of A. Raykin there was a performance of 10 brave people, from the companies of St. Petersburg, who have never performed a play on stage. The play “Everything will be Terem’OK” took place as part of a charity evening organized by the “Teplyi Dom” charity foundation in partnership with Independent Media Sanoma Magazines. A total of 372,000 rubles was collected for children from low-income families – providing them with training, camps, festivals, psychological help and tutoring, food packages.

Business opposition to corruption is really a feasible task, but efforts to minimize the level of corruption in a particular business structure will be effective only if they are implemented comprehensively. On March 11th we held a seminar “Use of Internet Resources as a Tool in the Fight Against Corruption” with invited expert from Denmark, Jens Berthelsen, partner of Global Advice Network. The interactive training was a demonstration of Russian anti-corruption e-learning programs.

March 12th two British companies “Speak the Speech” and “Votive Leadership” held an open workshop on individual and corporate trainings for the general business audience at the British Consulate General. We invite you to take a look at the guests’ reviews of the master class.

Also on  March 12th  there was a roundtable on the development of industrial areas in St. Petersburg, organized by the Municipal Agency for Industrial Investment (GAPI) in the St. Petersburg Industrial Congress. Roundtable participants discussed issues such as the development of industrial potential of St. Petersburg, the procedure for granting land for the design and construction industry, the procedure of interaction with executive authorities and preparation of documents for adoption by the Government of St. Petersburg related to the location of industrial facilities, the formation of the cluster scheme for placement of industrial facilities.

On March 12th, 2013 the final conference of the project “Cooperation between the Nordic countries and Northwest Russia in the Field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)” took place. The conference was organized by the International Institute of Business Education (MIBO), branch of JSC “Interregional Distribution Grid Company of the North-West” Kolenergo, St. Petersburg International Business Association and the Information Office of the Nordic Council of Ministers in St. Petersburg.

The first session was devoted entirely to the understanding of CSR in the Nordic countries and Russia. Speakers from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Russia exchanged views on the trends and practices of implementation of social responsibility in their countries. In the afternoon, participants were invited to take part in one of the parallel discussions. The conference was attended by over 130 representatives from the business community and business associations, business schools, NGOs and government bodies, representing Northwest Russia and the Nordic countries. Participants agreed that the project has reached its goal: to raise the level of competence, as well as create a platform for cooperation between Russian and Nordic experts, government officials, the business sector and NGOs working in the fields of corporate social responsibility and management standards.

On March 20th SPIBA organized a meeting with the new Chairman of the Committee for Industrial Policy and Innovation of St. Petersburg, Maxim S. Meiksin. The participants had an opportunity to get acquainted with the activities of the Committee,  discuss implementation of industry development and innovation policy in St. Petersburg, and talk about their company’s activities and the most pressing issues facing real business.

On March 21st the SPIBA Marketing Committee brought together representatives of the St. Petersburg business community and the mainstream media in a meeting dedicated to finding the best ways to foster the relationship between business and the media: “On both sides of the fence:  How to achieve dialogue and mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the media?” The format of the meeting was unusual in that it was a reverse press conference! The audience, which consisted of representatives of Russian and international companies, heard from representatives of the media, as well as those with journalistic experience who into business and are now ready to share their secrets. On this day, business leaders and representatives of press services and PR-departments were able to “turn the tables” with journalists and ask them all the questions. Invitees to the “Reverse Press Conference” included: Andrey Zhukov, Deputy Head for Information of the St. Petersburg Media Center “RIA Novosti” and Andrey Ershov, editor of Kommersant.

On March 26th, 2013 in the Ballny Hall of hotel “Astoria” SPIBA held the General Meeting of members of the association with Mr. Dmitry Yalov, Vice-governor of the Leningrad region, Chairman of the Committee for Economic Development and Investment as guest speaker. At the meeting the parties discussed the prospects of the Leningrad region and the current priority issues on the position and future plans of the Government of the Leningrad region to maintain a high rate of foreign investment in the region’s economy. The meeting was attended by representatives of SPIBA member companies, including top managers and heads of departments. At the meeting we also held the 2012 SPIBA Awards Ceremony and the presentation of candidates for election to the Executive Committee of SPIBA. 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 public support mechanisms for companies, including those in the global crisis.

On March 29th the regular meeting of the Committee on Finance of SPIBA took place. Vladimir Nemirov, Head of Inter-Regional Tax Inspectorate of Russia № 4 in St. Petersburg, highlighted the theme “Trends for the improvement of the tax administration for foreign organizations “, and answered the questions from the wide audience.

This April, we are pleased to invite you to the renewed English Speaking Club with April! We’ve changed the format slightly, we have a new charismatic leader April Djakoniya, and we are ready to welcome you with friendly discussions in English over a cup of tea every Wednesday at 7 pm! See you soon!