Guests from 139 countries have attended the annual economic forum in Russia’s second city © Getty Images / SOPA Images / Contributor

Almost 1,000 deals and contracts, with a value of more than 6.43 trillion rubles ($71.87 billion) have been signed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), according to Russian presidential adviser and Executive Secretary of the SPIEF Organizing Committee Anton Kobyakov.

Speaking at the forum’s final press briefing on Saturday, the top official said that 21,300 people visited from 139 countries, including Russia. Kobyakov added that 3,550 foreign and Russian companies from more than 90 countries participated in the event this year.

“We have announced figures that are not commercially confidential,” he added.

According to Kobyakov, 59 nations stated their willingness to join BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), as these groupings “are providing new members with opportunities to boost cooperation in new formats of the multipolar development concept.”

“Now most of the Earth’s inhabitants are with us,” the official said, highlighting that “Russia and its allies account for nearly 45% of global economy.”

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The presidential adviser noted that the weight and importance of the SCO in a global context is increasing. Although it was launched as a forum for China, Russia and the Central Asian states, it has been actively developing and now includes India, Pakistan and Iran.

“We can safely say that the SCO is destined to become a new center of economic power in a changing world,” Kobyakov concluded.

St. Petersburg, known as Russia’s ‘northern capital’, hosted the 27th annual SPIEF beginning on Wednesday. The main theme of this year’s forum was ‘The Foundations of a Multipolar World – The Formation of New Areas of Growth’. The three-day event featured around 400 business events, including panel discussions and international business dialogue meetings. (RT)