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3,000 Users Joined the Work of the BRICS Forum

On November 5–6, the Second International Municipal BRICS Forum was held in an online format in St. Petersburg under the aegis of Russian Federation's chairmanship. In the framework of the Business Program 20 video conferences took place, including 18 specialized sessions, a plenary session and a ceremony of signing agreements.

Over 170 speakers and lecturers delivered their speeches at the Forum. Just in 2 days more than 3,000 online audience member joined the Forum’s work. The Business Program of the International Municipal BRICS Forum 2020 was co-organized by the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Construction of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the Federal Agency for Tourism, the Federal Tax Service of Russia, the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation, the Central Election Commission, the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing, the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, SPBU, RANEPA, Business Russia, the Rugby Union of Russia, United Russia, All-Russia People’s Front and others.

Representatives of authorities from ministries and federal services, embassies and consulates; governors and mayors, heads of scientific and public organizations, businessmen and entrepreneurs of BRICS countries and other states spoke at the Forum. Each video conference took an hour and a half at the average. The audience could pose questions for speakers through the online chat of the conference.

The Forum took place in the format BRICS+ which meant that aside from five BRICS countries the Forum was attended by speakers and audience members from Italy, Spain, Argentina, Mali, Peru, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Nigeria, Mongolia, Mexico, Egypt, Germany, Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Austria and other states.

The work of the BRICS IMF started on November 5 with a discussion of modernization of city passenger transport, urbanism and shaping of a comfortable urban environment, and development of domestic tourism in five member countries. The major event of the first day of the Forum was the Plenary Session where a welcome address of Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, was read along with welcoming remarks of Alexander Beglov, Governor of St. Petersburg. Mikhail Bryukhanov, Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation, greeted participants of the Forum in the mode of a video conference. Mikhail Cherepanov, Chairman of the BRICS IMF Organizing Committee also delivered a speech and wished success to participants of the Forum in their work.

“A dialogue on the level of municipalities becomes an integral part of diverse cooperation for five member states. It’s difficult to overestimate its input in building up economic, tourist, cultural and interhuman connections. A good thing is that despite the complicated epidemiologic situation you continue the work started last year – this time in an on-site and off-site mode. The agenda is quite extensive. You are supposed to discuss a wide range of topics related to social and economic life of municipal entities in BRICS countries – from construction and transport to digitalization and innovative technologies,” Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, addressed organizers and participants of BRICS IMF 2020.

Other countries of the transnational association were represented by Deepak Miglani, Consul General of the Republic of India; Wang Wenli, Consul General of the Republic of China; Phindile V. Mkhonza, Counsellor to the Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa in the Russian Federation; Luiz Alvaro Salles Aguiar de Menezes from the San-Paolo Mayor’s Office (Brazil).

In the afternoon a whole number of specialized sessions dedicated to personnel policy, development of sport infrastructure and popularization of the healthy lifestyle, citizen participation and public management, the role of public associations in development of international municipal cooperation took place.

“The BRICS IMF is a venue that allows regions and municipalities of countries within the BRICS transnational association putting relevant issues on the agenda for extensive discussion and searching of the best possible solution, building new international connections and deepening cooperation in various directions,” Mikhail Cherepanov, Chairman of the Forum Organizing Committee, noted.

The second day of the Forum went in an even more intensive way. The agenda included issues within the following topics: digitalization and its influence on the society, investment interaction, import and export, exchange of selective practices, antimonopoly regulation, prevention of infectious disease communication, cross-party cooperation, work with youth, social protection of the population.

The cooperation agreement between Chelyabinsk (Russia) and Guarulhos (Brazil) was signed in an online format. The Organizing Committee signed the cooperation agreement with the Chinese Business Center, and signing of the cooperation with the Confederation of Indian Industry was preliminary confirmed.

It is to be recalled that the International Municipal BRICS Forum was held in St. Petersburg for the second time already, and this year the event is included in the calendar of the Russian Federation's chairmanship in the BRICS transnational association.

The International Municipal BRICS Forum is an annual business event, and the Forum will also take place on November 5–6 in 2021. A co-organizer of the Forum is EXPOFORUM International, the company that manages the EXPOFORUM Convention and Exhibition Center. Annually this venue hosts 200 events and more than 1.4 mln visitors.

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