KazanSummit 2021: conscious consumption, alternative to Suez Canal, Oscar winner

12 million rubles were allocated from the republic's budget for the forum

More than 2,500 people from 60 countries are participating in the 12th International Economic Summit “Russia — Islamic World: KazanSummit 2021". The forum has been opened by Minister of Economic Development of Russia Maksim Reshetnikov. The programme includes more than 90 events of various fields: from financial games to machine-building forum, which will be held for the first time as part of the summit. Entertainment has been organized for “ordinary” Kazan residents — an Islamic fashion show, master classes, and an exhibition of halal industry. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Most representative delegation is from Turkey

After a one-year break related to the coronavirus pandemic, the 12th International Economic Summit “Russia-Islamic World: KazanSummit 2021" has opened in Kazan. As head of the Investment Development Agency of the Republic of Tatarstan Talia Minullina said, such a pause gave an opportunity to prepare more thoroughly and the current forum promises to be the most representative.

Two and a half thousand participants from 60 countries of the world, as well as Russian regions, have already registered for the summit. The most representative delegation is from Turkey, numbering more than 50 people. The event is being held at the Kazan Expo Exhibition Centre.

“It is very nice that the site has grown so much. And we also feel this well after signing agreements. We have a zone for signing ceremonies of agreements. To register for it, one needs to submit information in advance about what agreement someone is going to sign with whom, in order to determine the time. Traditionally, the Republic of Tatarstan signs about 85% of agreements, and other regions are not so active. This year we have seen that finally the agreements will be signed by Mordovia, Ulyanovsk Oblast, Bashkortostan, and other regions. This indicates that the site has proven itself," said Talia Minullina.

Dozens of top officials are coming to the capital of Tatarstan, including the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Trade and Industry of the Arab Republic of Egypt Ms. Nevin Esameldin Hassan Gamea, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Abkhazia Christina Ozgan, Minister of Investment of the Kyrgyz Republic Almambet Shykmamatov, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bahrain Sameer Abdulla Nass, Director General of Russian Export Centre JSC Veronika Nikishina, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation Vladimir Padalko, Head of Rosstandart Anton Shalaev, Secretary General of the Standards and Metrology Institute for the Islamic Countries (SMIIC) Ihsan Ovyut, President of the World Halal Summit Council Yunus Ete, President of the Annual Investment Meeting Dawood Al Shezawi, ambassadors and consuls of more than 25 countries, international delegations and foreign experts, as well as heads of Russian regions, leadership of federal authorities, chambers of commerce and industry of Russian regions, representatives of the Bank of Russia and state corporations, the international business and political community.

Main topic — conscious consumption

The leitmotif of KazanSummit 2021 is the topic of conscious consumption, among the key aspects of the business programme: partner finance, halal industry, youth diplomacy, medicine, sports, creative industries, export development, entrepreneurship and investment.

Machine-building cluster forum is being held on the sidelines of the forum for the first time. It has been held since 2015 to exchange experience in the field of digitalisation of industry. Leading experts from various regions of Russia, as well as foreign countries, heads of subjects and municipalities, ministries and departments, industrial enterprises, engineering centres and universities are taking part in its work.

A total of 90 events are held, including a private reception hosted by the president of Tatarstan. A congress of chambers of commerce and industry and a meeting of the Caspian Club initiated by the Russian Foreign Ministry will also be held there for the first time within the framework of the forum. It will discuss the advantages of the North-South international transport corridor as an alternative to the Suez Canal and its importance in the development and integration of the economy of the Caspian basin. Other innovations of the summit include a workshop on children's entrepreneurship and the topical discussion “Medicine in the conditions of COVID-19", which will discuss measures to combat this scourge, including the topic of vaccination. The Russian Islamic University holds an Islamic financial game.

Russian-African session on logistics of economic prospects, master class on business etiquette of negotiations with representatives of Islamic countries, forum of ethical business leaders of the International Association of Islamic Business, financial marathon from Ak Bars Bank, session with bloggers are also on the agenda. Among the traditional events of the summit are the forum of young entrepreneurs of the OIC countries, Sbertalk, the forum of young diplomats of the OIC countries.

Among the unusual speakers of the forum is the founder of a company for special effects development, Poya Shohani. He won an Oscar for the film “Gravity”. At the forum, the guest gives a lecture on creating special effects. The moderator of the plenary session is the presenter of news programme, Times Radio correspondent, who previously worked for BBC, Nadira Tudor.

For those participants who could not come to Kazan for whatever reason, all events of the summit are broadcasted online.

“For people”

A separate programme has been prepared for Kazan residents and guests of the city. They will be probably interested in the halal industry exhibition Russia Halal Expo, which is open on July 28 and 29. It is located on an area of 5,000 square metres, 89 participants from several countries and regions of Russia applied. Here you can buy halal goods.

Kazan residents also have the opportunity to get to the traditional Islamic fashion summit Modest Fashion for free.

“We have the intention to strengthen the format this year. We hold a modest fashion show every year, we once even did a fashion show of wedding dresses. This year we have teamed up with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia, selected 10 interesting designers. It seems to us that in the evening of 28 July, there turn out to be a very interesting show," the head of the Investment Development Agency announced the event.

Among other events “for people” — various master classes and sessions. Free shuttles are running from Korston Hotel, Prospekt Pobedy metro station, Kamal Tatar Theatre .

The forum has a strict mask regime, and all its registered participants must also pass PCR tests. Regarding the dress code, Minullina said that it would be nice if people came in closed clothes, but everyone makes the decision themsleves.

KazanSummit does not pay for itself

The head of the Investment Development Agency did not make a secret of the cost of organising such a large-scale event. Twelve million rubles were allocated from the republic's budget for the forum. But this amount, according to Minullina, does not cover even half of the costs.

Participation in the forum is fee-based: “standard” package costs 25,000 rubles, “premium” — 50,000, but, according to the speaker, most of the participants take inexpensive packages, and this revenue is not enough even for renting Kazan Expo. The missing part of the costs is borne by sponsors, among which there are permanent ones — Sberbank and Ak Bars Bank. Minullina admitted that the agency faces the task of at least reaching zero.

Nevertheless, in her opinion, KazanSummit justifies its purpose — attracting investments to Tatarstan.

"79 countries invest in Tatarstan. The lion's share of these investments has been made over the past 15 years. In other words, we actively started the international investment agenda only about 15 years ago. Previously, we had only internal investors. Today we can see the result of how much people are investing in us. Here, it is probably correct to look not only at investments, but also at trade turnover. Practice shows that when there is a large turnover of goods, investment projects come one way or another. Because an investor cannot make capital investments without trading, without probing the market. Today we can see that our trade turnover with the countries such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, the Republic of Turkey, and with other Islamic countries is growing. And among the investor states, most of the investments come from the Republic of Turkey, which is part of the OIC," Minullina stressed.

The Turks have already invested more than $2 billion in Tatarstan, and if earlier they opened enterprises in Alabuga economic zone, where there is a preferential tax regime, then they gradually “entered” Nizhnekamsk, Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny. In Kazan, for example, after the reconstruction of the Shamovskaya Hospital and its transformation into the Kazan Palace by Tasigo hotel, they built a second hotel nearby — Neo, and now they are aiming at a third project.

Minullina noted that attracting investments is a collective systematic work of the entire “Tatarstan Corporation” headed by President Minnikhanov, who personally establishes contacts with the leadership of other countries. One meeting in Kazan will not attract investments, she believes, nevertheless, KazanSummit makes a serious contribution to the development of trade and economic cooperation with the Islamic world.

Eleanora Rylova