The three seas initiative

Enhancing European and Transatlantic Economic Cooperation

September 17-18, 2018 | Bucharest, Romania

The Three Seas Business Forum

Brings together representatives from the 12 countries in the Three Seas Initiative region, together with the other EU Member States, EU institutions, the United States, Western Balkans and Eastern Neighbourhood countries, and Turkey.

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Mihai DarabanPresident of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania

Dear participants,

It is my great pleasure and honor to welcome you to the first edition of the Three Seas Initiative Business Forum organized in Bucharest by the Presidential Administration of Romania and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania, under the High Patronage of the President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis.

The Three Seas Initiative Business Forum will focus on key priority projects and policies that are to be developed in the region between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Sea.

I strongly believe that the common economic projects that will be agreed under the Three Seas Initiative can be implemented only with the direct involvement of the business communities across the region. We will do our best to create an environment for fruitful discussions in Bucharest.

I wish you a pleasant stay in Bucharest and good luck in your business endeavor!

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Tsvetan SimeonovPresident of Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Dear participants,

The Three Seas Initiative (3SI) is a strong tool for coherence between the national chambers from the 12 EU member states in the region between the Adriatic, Baltic and the Black Seas. The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) is a proud member of the initiative and supports its mission and goals.

The first edition of the Three Seas Business Forum is a unique opportunity for establishing regional cooperation and strengthening the transatlantic link. It will give a chance for fostering connection of business communities in the region, further exchange of know-how and generation of new business ideas relevant to the challenging economic environment.

The three fields of major interest: transportation, energy and digital sector are extremely important for connectivity and economic development of the whole region. Involvement of SMEs, young entrepreneurs and start-ups in the Forum is crucial to the 3SI’s success and sustainability in the long-term, as they are the potential drivers of growth and innovation in the region.

The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry supports the process of interaction and integration between companies, professionals and people encouraging pragmatic and ambitious moves that promote business in Europe and worldwide. We believe that the Three Seas Business Forum will fulfill its ambitious tasks and will be in favor of the business in the region.

The 3SI is of high importance due to the fact that there are numerous initiatives, organizations and bodies aiming at developing the East-West relations but the interaction North-South is not covered enough though it reveals a huge potential due to the difference in the economic development of the countries within Europe and the proximity to African economies.

I wish success to the first edition of the Three Seas Business Forum and fruitful B2B meetings!

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Sigitas GailiūnasPresident of the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Crafts of Lithuania

Dear participants,

We are already looking for a third meeting of political leaders of the countries in-between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas. As well as the first edition of a high-level Business Forum of those 12 countries from Central and Eastern Europe.

Our countries share interests for more rapid economic development and real convergence with the older members of European Union. With the already established Presidential platform declaring economic cooperation between businesses of our countries as a priority for boosting regional cooperation, Presidents of the Chambers of Commerce will have an excellent opportunity for establishing the network of Chambers of Commerce of 3SI.

Regional interconnectivity could be established by common infrastructure development – energy, transport and digital. Those fields are the focus of business communities of our countries. In the context of recent developments of trade issues between USA and the EU, Transatlantic Partnership issues will be a “hot” topic for the discussion.

Both politicians and business have the ambitious goals of cooperation and development. And the network of Chambers of Commerce of 3SI will be a platform for future cooperation.

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Boštjan GorjupPresident of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia

“We are glad to see that Three Seas Initiative is well under way to accomplish its mission to overcome the »inner EU boundaries« in terms of development but also the »mental« ones. Many thanks to colleagues from Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for doing a great job on organising such a comprehensive event covering so many issues essential for common EU future.

Not to mention relevancy of infrastructure, logistics, energy and other areas, I would like to emphasize the field of digitalisation. Being aware and active in creating a friendly, effective and secure digital landscape may offer a shortcut to connect global economy and link closely development with social responsibility. Slovenia as one of the top-5 blockchain countries globally, aiming to become the Silicon Valley of Europe has much to offer also to Three Seas Initiative in terms of awareness, regulation and innovation. Moreover, our start-up scene related to digital and other technologies is very vibrant and internationally recognised.

To support the Bucharest Three Seas Initiative Business Forum it will be our Chamber’s task to focus our businesses attention to this event, recommending them to take part, make themselves visible and contribute to its success by establishing new partnerships with participating businesses and institutions.”

MEMBER STATES

The Initiative includes the 12 EU member states located between the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Seas:

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Austria

Capital: Vienna
Official EU language(s): German
EU member country: since 1 January 1995
Currency: Euro. Euro area member since 1 January 1999
Schengen: Schengen area member since 1 December 1997
Geographical size: 83 879 km²
Population: 8,58 million
Gross domestic product (GDP): 369,68 billion euro

Political system
Austria is a federal parliamentary republic with a head of government – the chancellor – and a head of state – the president. The country consists of 9 states (Bundesländer).  Both regional and federal governments exercise executive power. The federal Parliament consists of 2 chambers: the Lower House (Nationalrat) – directly elected – and the Upper House (Bundesrat) – elected by regional parliaments.

Trade and economy
The most important sectors of Austria’s economy in 2016 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (22.9 %), industry (21.6 %) and public administration, defense, education, human health and social work activities (17.5 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 71% of Austria’s exports (Germany 30%, Italy 6%, and Slovakia 4%), while outside the EU 6% go to the United States and 5% to Switzerland.
In terms of imports, 78% come from EU Member States (Germany 43%, Italy 6% and Czech Republic 4%), while outside the EU 6% come from Switzerland and 3% from China.

Bulgaria

Capital: Sofia
Official EU language(s): Bulgarian
EU member country: since 1 January 2007
Currency: Bulgarian lev BGN. Bulgaria has committed to adopt the euro once it fulfils the necessary conditions.
Schengen: Bulgaria is currently in the process of joining the Schengen area.
Geographical size: 111 000 km²
Population: 7,2 million
Gross domestic product (GDP): 50,43 billion euro
Presidency of the Council of the EU: Bulgaria holds the revolving presidency from 1 January 2018.

Political system
Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic. The head of government – the prime minister – holds the most powerful executive position. The head of state – the president – primarily holds representative powers as well as limited veto powers. Bulgaria is a unitary state with a centralized structure. It consists of 27 provinces and a metropolitan capital province (Sofia-Grad). The regional governors are appointed by the government.

Trade and economy
The most important sectors of Bulgaria’s economy in 2016 were industry (23.8 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (22.2 %) and public administration, defense, education, human health and social work activities (14.1 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 68% of Bulgaria’s exports (Germany 14%, Italy 9% and Romania 9%), while outside the EU 8% go to Turkey and 2% to China.
In terms of imports, 67% come from EU Member States (Germany 13%, Italy 8% and Romania 7%), while outside the EU 9% come from Russia and 6% from Turkey.

Croatia

Capital: Zagreb
Official EU language(s): Croatian
EU member country: since 1 July 2013
Currency: Croatian Kuna HRK. Croatia has committed to adopt the euro once it fulfils the necessary conditions.
Schengen: No, Croatia is not a member of the Schengen area
Geographical size: 56 500 km²
Population: 4,23 million
Gross domestic product (GDP): 48,67 billion euro

Political system
Croatia is a parliamentary republic in which the head of government – the prime minister – and the head of state – the president – represent the executive power and the state at home and abroad. The government structure is based on separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers. The Parliament holds legislative power and also controls the executive. Its members are elected for 4 years.

Trade and economy
The most important sectors of Croatia’s economy in 2016 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (22.5 %), industry (21.2 %) and public administration, defense, education, human health and social work activities (14.9 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 66% of Croatia’s exports (Italy 14%, Slovenia 12% and Germany 12%), while outside the EU 9% go to Bosnia & Herzegovina and 4% to Serbia.
In terms of imports, 77% come from EU Member States (16% Germany, Italy 12% and Slovenia 11%), while outside the EU 3% come from both Bosnia & Herzegovina and China.

Czech Republic

Capital: Prague
Official EU language(s): Czech
EU member country: since 1 May 2004
Currency: Czech koruna (CZK). Czech Republic is currently preparing to adopt the euro.
Schengen: Schengen area member since 21 December 2007
Geographical size: 78 900 km²
Population: 10,54 million
Gross domestic product (GDP): 192,01 billion euro

Political system
The Czech Republic is a parliamentary republic with a head of government – the prime minister – and a head of state – the president. The country was formed in 1993, after Czechoslovakia was split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The country is now divided into 14 regions, including the capital, Prague.

Trade and economy
The most important sectors of the Czech Republic’s economy in 2016 were industry (32.1 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (18.6 %) and public administration, defense, education, human health and social work activities (14.7 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 84% of the Czech Republic’s exports (Germany 32%, Slovakia 8% and Poland 6%), while outside the EU 2% goes to both the United States and Russia.
In terms of imports, 79% come from EU Member States (Germany 31%, Poland 10% and Slovakia 6%), while outside the EU 7% come from China and 2% from South Korea.

Estonia

Capital: Tallinn
Official EU language(s): Estonian
EU member country: since 1 May 2004
Currency: euro. Euro area member since 1 January 2011
Schengen: Schengen area member since 21 December 2007
Geographical size: 45 200 km²
Population: 1,31 million
Gross domestic product (GDP): 23,002 billion euro

Political system
Estonia is a parliamentary republic. Its head of government – the prime minister – is nominated by the president and approved by parliament. He or she is in charge of the executive power vested in government. The head of state – the president – is elected by Parliament or electoral college for 5 years. The Parliament has 101 members, elected every 4 years. The country is divided into 15 counties and 79 municipalities. Location on the EU map

Trade and economy
The most important sectors of Estonia’s economy in 2016 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (2.7 %), industry (20.7 %) and public administration, defense, education, human health and social work activities (16.4 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 74% of Estonia’s exports (Sweden 18%, Finland 16% and Latvia 9%), while outside the EU 7% go to Russia and 4% to Norway.
In terms of imports, 82% come from EU Member States (Finland 13%, Germany 11% and Lithuania 9%), while outside the EU 6% come from Russia and 3% from the United States.

Hungary

Capital: Budapest
Official EU language(s): Hungarian
EU member country: since 1 May 2004
Currency: Hungarian Forint HUF. Hungary is currently preparing to adopt the euro.
Schengen: Schengen area member since 21 December 2007
Geographical size: 93 011 km²
Population: 9,86 million
Gross domestic product (GDP): 123,49 billion euro

Political system
Hungary is a parliamentary republic with a head of government – the prime minister – who exercises executive power and a head of state – the president – whose primary responsibilities are representative. Hungary is divided into 19 counties, Budapest, and 23 cities with county-level authority. Location on the EU map

Trade and economy
The most important sectors of Hungary’s economy in 2016 were industry (27.0 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (18.9 %) and public administration, defense, education, human health and social work activities (17.8 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 81% of Hungary’s exports (Germany 28%, Romania, Slovakia, Austria and Italy all 5%), outside the EU 3% go to the United States and 2% to Turkey.
In terms of imports, 78% come from EU Member States (Germany 26%, Austria 6% and Poland and Slovakia 5%), while outside the EU 6% come from China and 3% from Russia.

Latvia

Capital: Riga
Official EU language(s): Latvian
EU member country: since 1 May 2004
Currency: euro. Euro area member since 1 January 2014
Schengen: Schengen area member since 21 December 2007
Geographical size: 64 573 km²
Population: 1,99 million
Gross domestic product (GDP): 26,86 billion euro

Political system
Latvia is a parliamentary republic with a head of government – the prime minister – who chooses the council of ministers and a head of state – the president – who has a largely ceremonial role and nominates the prime minister. The government remains subject to Parliament’s approval throughout each term. The country is subdivided into 110 one-level municipalities and 9 cities. These have their own city councils and municipal administrations.

Trade and economy
The most important sectors of Latvia’s economy in 2016 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (25.0 %), industry (16.7 %) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (15.9 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 70% of Latvia’s exports (Lithuania 17%, Estonia 12% and Germany 7%), while outside the EU 11% go to Russia and 2% to Norway.
In terms of imports, 81% come from EU Member States (Lithuania 17%, Germany 12% and Poland 10%), while outside the EU 7% come from Russia and 3% from China.

Lithuania

Capital: Vilnius
Official EU language(s): Lithuanian
EU member country: since 1 May 2004
Currency: Euro. Euro area member since 1 January 2015
Schengen: Schengen area member since 21 December 2007
Geographical size: 65 286 km²
Population: 2,92 million
Gross domestic product (GDP): 41,86 billion euro

Political system
Lithuania is a parliamentary republic with a head of government – the prime minister – and a head of state – the president – who appoints the prime minister. The Parliament is a single-chamber legislative body. The country is divided into 60 municipalities, with directly-elected mayors.

Trade and economy
The most important sectors of Lithuania’s economy in 2016 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (32.2 %), industry (22.1 %) and public administration, defense, education, human health and social work activities (14.5 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 61% of Lithuania’s exports (Latvia 10%, Poland 9% and Germany 8%), while outside the EU 13% go to Russia and 5% to the United States.
In terms of imports, 70% come from EU Member States (Germany 12%, Poland 11% and Latvia 8%), while outside the EU 14% come from Russia and 3% from China.

Poland

Capital: Warsaw

Official EU language(s): Polish

EU member country: since 1 May 2004
Currency: Polish Złoty PLN. Poland is currently preparing to adopt the euro.
Schengen: Schengen area member since 21 December 2007
Geographical size:  312 679 km²
Population: 38,01 million
Gross domestic product (GDP): 465,60 billion euro

Political system
Poland is a parliamentary republic with a head of government – the prime minister – and a head of state – the president. The government structure is centered on the council of ministers. The country is divided into 16 provinces, largely based on the country’s historic regions. Administrative authority at provincial level is shared between a government-appointed governor, an elected regional assembly and an executive elected by the regional assembly.

Trade and economy
The most important sectors of Poland’s economy in 2016 were Industry (26.5 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (26.2 %), and public administration, defense, education, human health and social work activities (14.7 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 80% of Poland’s exports (Germany 27%, United Kingdom and Czech Republic both 7%), while outside the EU 3% go to Russia and 2% from the United States.
In terms of imports, 72% come from EU Member States (Germany 28%, the Netherlands 6% and Italy 5%), while outside the EU 8% come from China and 6% from Russia.

Romania

Capital: Bucharest
Official EU language(s): Romanian
EU member country: since 1 January 2007
Currency: Romanian Leu RON. Romania has committed the euro once it fulfils the necessary conditions.
Schengen: Romania is currently in the process of joining the Schengen area.
Geographical size: 238 391 km²
Population: 19,87 million
Gross domestic product (GDP): 187,87 billion euro

Political system
Romania is a semi-presidential republic with a head of state – the president and a head of government – the prime minister. Executive functions are held by both president and the government. The country is divided into 41 counties and the municipality of Bucharest. Each county is administered by a county council, responsible for local affairs, and a prefect responsible for administering national affairs at county level.

Trade and economy
The most important sectors of Romania’s economy in 2016 were industry (25.7 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (20.2 %) and public administration, defense, education, human health and social work activities (11.7 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 75% of Romania’s exports (Germany 22%, Italy 12% and France 7%), while outside the EU 3% go to Turkey and 2% to Russia.
In terms of imports, 77% come from EU Member States (Germany 21%, Italy 10% and Hungary 7%), while outside the EU 5% come from China and 4% from Turkey.

Slovakia

Capital: Bratislava
Official EU language(s): Slovak
EU member country: since 1 May 2004
Currency: Euro. Euro area member since 1 January 2009
Schengen: Schengen area member since 21 December 2007
Geographical size: 49 035 km²
Population: 5,42 million
Gross domestic product (GDP): 84,99 billion euro

Political system
Slovakia is a parliamentary democratic republic with a head of government – the prime minister – who holds the most executive power and a head of state – the president – who is the formal head of the executive, but with very limited powers. The country is subdivided into 8 regions, each named after its principal city. These have been given a certain degree of autonomy since 2002.

Trade and economy
The most important sectors of Slovakia’s economy in 2016 were industry (27.3 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (21.6 %) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (13.4 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 85% of Slovakia’s exports (Germany 22%, Czech Republic 12% and Poland 8%), while outside the EU 2% each go to the United States, Russia and China.
In terms of imports, 80% come from EU Member States (Germany 20%, Czech Republic 17% and Austria 10%), while outside the EU 5% come from South Korea and 4% from Russia.

Slovenia

Capital: Ljubljana
Official EU language(s): Slovenian
EU member country: since 1 May 2004
Currency: Euro. Euro area member since 1 January 2007
Schengen: Schengen area member since 21 December 2007
Geographical size: 20 273 km²
Population: 2,06 million
Gross domestic product (GDP): 43,28 billion euro

Political system
Slovenia is a parliamentary democratic republic with a head of government – the prime minister – and a head of state – the president – who is directly elected. The government holds executive and administrative authority. The prime minister and ministers are elected by the Parliament. Slovenia has no regions, but is subdivided into 212 municipalities.

Trade and economy
The most important sectors of Slovenia’s economy in 2016 were industry (27.6 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (20.7 %) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (16.9 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 75% of Slovenia’s exports (Germany 19%, Italy 10% and Austria 7%), while outside the EU 4% go to Serbia and 3% to Bosnia & Herzegovina.
In terms of imports, 71% come from EU Member States (Germany 17%, Italy 13% and Austria 10%), while outside the EU 5% come from China and 4% from Turkey.

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AGENDA

Day 1, 17 September, 2018

15:30 – 16:30Registration and welcome coffee

17:00 – 17:15Opening of the Business Forum

17:15- 18:15Plenary session – “The 3SI in a challenging international context”

18:30- 18:45Signing of the Joint Statement on the creation of the Network of the Chambers of Commerce of the 3SI and Signing of a Letter of Intent in relation to the Three Seas Fund

18:30 – 20:30Cocktail

Day 2, 18 September, 2018

08:30 – 9.30Registration of participants

09:30 – 10:45Thematic Sectorial Panels – Priority projects to be presented to participants

10:45- 11:00Coffee break

11:00- 13:30B2B&B2G meetings Part 1 (focus on the three priority fields – energy, transport and digital)

11:00- 12:15Policy Panels (strategic implications of the 3SI, regional potential of cooperation in defense industry and with neighbouring countries)

12:15 – 13:30Policy Panels (3SI as a catalyst, shared values, transatlantic link)

13:30 -14:30Lunch

14:30 – 16:00Plenary session – High potential drivers of growth and innovation in the 3SI region

16.00 – 16.15Coffee break

16:16- 17:30B2B&B2G meetings Part 2 (focus on SMEs, young entrepreneurship, new technologies, business incubators)

16:15 – 17:30Policy Panels (potential outside 3SI scope, 3SI and B9, increasing the role of civil society)

17.30- 18.00 Conclusions

SPEAKERS

H.E. Klaus Iohannis
President of Romania
H.E. Andrzej Sebastian Duda
President of the Republic of Poland
H.E. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović
President of the Republic of Croatia
H.E. Alexander Van der Bellen
Federal President of the Republic of Austria
Mihai Daraban
President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania
Moderator: Alina Inayeh
Director, Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, German Marshall Fund Romania
Ana Birchall
Vice-Prime-Minister for Romania's Strategic Partnerships' Implementation
Andreana Baeva Motusic
President, European Business Association Zagreb, Member of the Governing Board of IDEMO Institute for Democracy, Republic of Croatia

Event Location

Bucharest, Romania

EVENT LOCATION

Bucharest, Romania