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  • Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum

    The Forum refers to international conference aiming at highlighting cross‐border cooperation, enhancing bilateral and multilateral relations, strengthening business opportunities and promoting economic growth and sustainable development among the 17 States of the Balkans and Black Sea Region

On the cross section of governmental and business sectors, the Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum serves as think-tank to outline the current situation, quote political indicators, navigate to growth and cooperation and monitor the perspectives and the SDGs towards 2030 on annual basis.

Rotating annually at a different State of the region, it also includes 2 open to the public areas; the Business HUB (exhibiting zone for companies & organizations to the promotion of their core activities) and the Cultural Zone for 2 honorary countries at showcasing their cultural heritage.

Participants are Senior Officials from the EU, the Balkans and the Black Sea Bodies & Institutions, Officials from International Organizations, public officials, diplomats, businesses, entrepreneurs and academia. At the core of the Forum lies panels’ representation which by majority is consisted by international speakers and moderators.

Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum monitors 7 topics:

EU Balkans & Black Sea Perspectives and SDGs towards 2030
Digital Economy & Innovation
Maritime, Transportation, Infrastructures & Hubs
Roads of Energy
Women in leadership
Environment, Agriculture, Use of Sources
Cultural & Sustainable Tourism

States of the Region The Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum concerns: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, FYROM, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine


In Italy, in line with the Single Authorisation Permit granted by the Ministry of Economy and Finance on 20 May 2015, TAP continues its progress regarding secondary permitting activities. Over the summer of 2016, the project has carried out the unexploded ordnance (UXO) and archaeological surveys, as well as phytosanitary treatment (spraying of olive trees along TAP’s route, in preparation of moving them). Along with the geological studies conducted on the San Foca beach and the native maquis*, all preparation has been concluded for the construction of the 1,5km-long micro-tunnel within the year.

R. Scoufias: TAP is a project of great importance for South-East Europe

Mr. Ricard Scoufias highlighted the strategic importance of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP AG) for Europe's energy diversification and security, arguing that “the wider South East Europe (SEE) area is one of the regions that could benefit the most from the opening of the Southern Gas Corridor”

The Black Sea region has the capacity to develop a much better cooperation among ports and infrastructures in order to offer the economic operators the best networks possible. Spontaneous initiatives are of course welcome but they will be more efficient with some coordination and long term perspective. This is what the Blue Growth initiative is offering to most of the countries. Transportation goods, energy or information need obviously that interconnection exist and give the economic agents the best quality possible in reducing time and cost. The more coordinate and connected the regions will be, with a clear geo-spatial scheme, the better it will be for everybody. And these local initiatives are also the best tool to overcome historical, territorial or ethnical susceptibilities.

Francois Lafond: More cooperation and long-term prospect in the Black Sea area

More cooperation and longer-term prospects are needed in the Black Sea region, said Francois Lafond, arguing that this is exactly what the Blue Growth initiative provides

Global challenges to achieve food sufficiency in the coming decades in my opinion backed up by the philosophy ”more with less”. So, I believe that there are two pillars that should be promoted by the new CAP if we want to embrace this direction by attracting at the same time young people in the field of Agriculture.  The first has to do with the empowerment of youth entrepreneurship and the second with cutting edge technologies e.g. as precision Agriculture.  Both pillars are very close to the perception of new farmers and of new agronomists so to the human dipole which will be invited to collaborate in the coming years.

Hamakiotis: Innovation and entrepreneurship are the answer to the agricultural crisis

Mr. Hamakiotis was interviewed on the occasion of the Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum to be held in Serres, Greece on May 25-26, 2017

Cumulatively from the start of operations in 1999, BSTDB has approved over 100 SME operations for a total amount of EUR 974 million. Today, we have 39 SME operations for a total of EUR 232 million, representing 20% of the outstanding portfolio. Given the fact that we are headquartered in Greece, which facilitates our contact with locally incorporated commercial entities, we used to enter into direct contractual arrangements with Greek partners. Since the start of operations the Bank has signed 18 operations in Greece for over EUR 335 million, apart from financial support provided to Greek companies expanding their activities in other member countries. However, the Bank does not exclude Greek banks from its pool of potential clients. On the contrary, we have explored various possibilities to engage with Greek banks in the past, and we are currently considering financing opportunities.

President of BSTDB: The region of Black Sea in the path of sustainable development

“BSEC region is on path of growth, but due to market volatility and high risk perceptions, capital inflows from abroad remain subdued” stated Mr. Ihsan Ugur Delikanli

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