The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Thursday held its first session called Russia’s regions: new growth areas. The event aims to develop investment opportunities and improve the export potential of the Russian regions.

The participants in the central Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod discussed the development of regional projects with export potential that could attract investments.

They will be presented with a new platform for promoting projects during the St. Petersburg Forum next summer 2016, according to a news release.

The event was held in association with the Russian Foreign Investment Advisory Council, the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, the Russian Export Center and the multinational professional services firm EY (formerly Ernst & Young). Six more sessions will take place in different Russian regions next year.