Dear friends,

An unusually warm and sunny summer vacation season has already passed us by! A new business season is in full swing, so we are pleased to share the September bulletin of SPIBA events.

On September 3rd the SPIBA Legislation and Lobbying Committee launched a series of meetings titled “The Legal Discussion Club.”  These meetings are a forum for discussion of the most pressing issues that lawyers face in real practice. Each meeting will address several common topics from actual business projects. The topic for the pilot meeting was “Licensing and self-regulation: discussion of real business cases.”  The co-chairs of the Committee, Igor Gorokhov (Capital Legal Services) and Arina Dovzhenko (Dentons), shared interesting case studies from their practices, resulting in a lively and heated discussion. We invite you to take part in the upcoming meetings of the “Legal Discussion Club” and share your unique experiences!

On September 11th the Committee on Human Resources held its regular autumn meeting about labor market trends. Anna Egorova (CASE) presented an overview of salaries and compensation packages in 2013 and Julia Krizhevich (Morgan Hunt) spoke about the selection of top management and the role of headhunters in this process.  Speakers noted generally positive trends such as increased salaries and employee benefits, overall growth of compensation packages and a decline in the unemployment rate.

We celebrated the beginning of a new business season with a glass of wine in an informal atmosphere at our Get Together @ BIBLIOTEKA, a unique space for food and culture in the heart of St. Petersburg. We thank the wonderful hosts for the warm welcome, delicious snacks and tasty raffle prizes! Please see the photos, as usual, on our Facebook page!

In September 2013 SPIBA announced the establishment of a new Committee on Real Estate and Construction. We are pleased to, once again, congratulate the co-chairs of the Committee – Maya Petrova (ATTORNEYS AT LAW BORENIUS), Vladimir Vishnevsky (VTB Capital Asset Management) and Dmitry Kozunov (Colliers International) on their election and wish them success and productivity in their new assignments! On September 18th the Committee hosted its first conference and discussed the development of new industrial sites. The conference covered issues such as the investment climate in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, industrial site selection criteria, the formulation of technical requirements for a potential site and other similar topics.  We invite members of the association to actively participate in the planning of activities on construction and real estate matters and to discuss the most pressing questions!

As you know, 2013 is recognized as a year of bilateral cooperation between Russia and the Netherlands. In connection with this, SPIBA and the Consulate General of the Netherlands held a joint event dedicated to innovation development based on Dutch examples and experience. A team of young, ambitious students from the University of Delft presented its world-championship-winning solar car Nuna 6. After the presentation of the solar car, we held a roundtable discussionabout the application of innovative technologies and approaches by a number of companies successfully operating in St. Petersburg. The welcome speech was delivered by Klaas Huisman, Deputy Consul General , followed by presentations from Unilever, Philips and Technopark “Ingria,”  sharing their innovative projects and programs for sustainable development. We sincerely thank the Consulate General of the Netherlands for the fruitful cooperation and the excellent organization of the event and look forward to continue our interaction in future projects!

On September 23rd SPIBA and the British training company, Canning, jointly held a seminar “Masters in International Communication.” Jane Everett, Senior Training Consultant of Canning, introduced new training methods for effective international communication in a series of master classes, exercises and games. The main ideas of the seminar was overcoming cultural differences, communication with international audiences and effective cooperation in an international environment.

On September 24th SPIBA and the Information Office of the Nordic Council of Ministers in St. Petersburg organized a round table discussion on “The Application of anti-corruption procedures as a guarantee of the effectiveness of business and economic development”. The moderator of the event was Irina Onikienko, Partner, Capital Legal Services. Opening remarks were made by Karina Khabacheva, Executive Director of SPIBA; Mika Boedeker, Director of the Information Office of the Nordic Council of Ministers in St. Petersburg; Björn Kavalkov-Halvarsson, Consul, Deputy Head of Mission, Consulate General of Sweden; and Leida Lukianova, Associate, Baker & McKenzie. The event was attended by representatives of government agencies of St. Petersburg, top managers of international companies such as Baker & McKenzie, Capital Legal Services, Siemens, 3M and other experts from Sweden and Finland. All roundtable participants unanimously agreed on a single position: the state, business and society should participate together in the development of an anti-corruption system. In the Nordic countries, with more than 200 years of experience in the development of anti-corruption procedures, this synergy has allowed for the virtual elimination of corruption.

On September 27th at the Angleterre Hotel we continued our series of events for PR industry professionals with a roundtable on “Social Media for Business: Practical Application.” Consultants and experts from different fields were invited to share their concerns and findings. Lawyers, financial experts, HR specialists and, of course, PR experts agreed that the role of social media in business is increasing, and becoming more complex. In the B2B sector social media is becoming a strong promotional tool for companies. In summing up the roundtable, the moderator of the meeting  Olga Chernysheva, Managing Partner of BC Communications, noted that many questions still remain unanswered and invited all participants to direct their questions and comments to SPIBA in order to jointly find solutions concerning social media  issues relevant to the business community.

We are also pleased to announce that after the August break English Speaking Club at SPIBA has resumed its activity, so we look forward to seeing you every Wednesday evening in our office! Follow the latest updates on the SPIBA calendar on our website and see you soon!