The 26th International Financial Congress has ended in St. Petersburg. The main theme of the IFC – ‘Finances for Development’ – established the main agenda item – searching for a balance between the goals of developing and ensuring financial stability and the importance of the role of central banks in creating conditions for sustainable growth. This theme was reflected in the new signature style of the event. The IFC logo contained the image of St. Petersburg’s drawbridges, symbolizing development and dialogue and the search for common ground between business and regulators as well as between different sectors of the financial market.
Roughly 1,300 participants from 35 countries, including EAEU countries, China, the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, and Italy, among others, came together to discuss the financial system’s contribution to the country’s economic development of the country and measures that can be taken in this regard. They included representatives of banks, insurance companies, pension funds, other financial market participants, the central banks of different countries, international financial institutions, and the media.
Participants in this year’s international sessions included former heads and current senior executives from the central banks of Malaysia, Poland, Finland, Croatia, and the Czech Republic, including Economist and Chairman of the Central Bank of Malaysia (2000–2016) Zeti Akhtar Aziz; former Prime Minister, former Minister of Finance, and former Chairman of the National Bank of Poland Marek Belka; Chairman of JPMorgan Chase International and former Chairman of the Bank of Israel (1991–2000) Jacob Frenkel; and Professor of World Economics at Brandeis International Business School Stephen Cecchetti.
The Russian financial sector was represented by the Governor of the Russian Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina; Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets Anatoly Aksakov; President and Chairman of the Board of Sberbank German Gref; and President and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Bank Andrei Kostin, among others.
The Congress business programme touched upon all aspects of the financial market. The IFC 2017 discussions focused on the development of the economy and finance, monetary and credit policy, banking business, payment system, pension savings market, insurance, microfinancing, financial technologies, financial accessibility, and financial literacy, among many other issues.
In her speech, Governor of the Russian Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina focused on the bank’s strategic objectives and plans for the next five years.
“Today is a time for focusing on this planning horizon and determining the overall strategy for the development of the financial market because right now our economy is at the start of a new cycle”, she said. “The Russian economy has resumed positive growth trends, albeit small ones for now. This year we expect growth of 1.3–1.8%. The agenda of stabilization and adaptation to external shocks that dominated in recent years has been naturally replaced by a discussion on how to launch the engine of economic development. This is precisely why the theme of this year’s congress is ‘Finances for Development’”, she said.
More information about the Russian national financial market infrastructure including banking sector, Fintech development, micro-finance products, financial regulation and supervision and other key issues could be found here: www.ibcongress.ru.
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