AmCham Bulgaria attended the Three Seas Virtual Summit in Tallinn, Estonia, October 19th, 2020, as part of the delegation led by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev to Estonia. Petar T. Ivanov, CEO, and Daniel Kiryakov, Communications and Public Affairs Manager attended also the Business Forum at the Baltic country.
Bulgaria at the Three Seas Summit 2020
At the Three Seas Summit the President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev announced that our country will be hosting the 2021 Summit of the Three Seas Initiative (3Si), as well as of the Business Forum. He received the official flag of the initiative, taking the relay from the Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid. At the event President Radev announced Bulgaria’s priorities with regard this regional format. Bulgaria will continue to work for the development of its three main pillars – digitalization, infrastructure and energy, as well as it will jointly develop criteria for projects selection, will work for the additional structuring of the Three Seas Investment Fund, and will add value with another dimension by emphasizing on the need of scientific and academic exchange between young professionals. Also, he expressed his vision that 3Si should expand its current geographical domain by welcoming Greece and Cyprus. Moreover, Germany and the European Commission were welcomed as integral partners too at the Summit.
AmChams in Europe and 3Si
AmCham Bulgaria aims to partner with all Bulgarian institutions for the successful hosting of the 2021 Summit, as well as to be active in the structuring of the proposed projects. The Chamber is among the most active members of the “AmChams in Europe” network of 45 chambers. Eleven of them signed the Ljubljana Declaration in 2019 which gave their support to the initiative. Even more, they have made a promise to work together for the continued growth and sustainable development of the region in partnership with the United States that initiated the process in 2016.
“AmCham Bulgaria supports the Three Seas Initiative because it provides a unique opportunity for Bulgaria to continue its development by following its transatlantic geopolitical orientation and its values. Also, 3Si has strong economic impact by improving the connectivity – physical and digital of this part of Europe. The hosting of the 2021 Summit will excel the role of Bulgaria not only politically but in more tangible economic terms. We are certain that AmCham can be a valuable business partner to all national institutions that are managing the process. Our main goal is to expand the ways that will lead to creating projects in either of the three pillars of 3Si in digital connectivity, transportation and energy,” commented Olivier Marquette, President, AmCham Bulgaria after the Summit.
AmCham Bulgaria follows strictly its priorities, incl. sustainable economic development, transparency, rule of law, as well as pursuing sector priorities in energy, digitalization and healthcare. On this basis the organization finds a perfect match with the Three Seas Initiative objectives and values.
“Over the past weeks we have witnessed the achievement of two milestones with regard the 3Si were achieved. First, President Radev’s efforts to win the hosting of the 2021 Summit succeeded in receiving the 3Si Flag from the Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid. Second, the decision of the Government of Bulgaria to pledge EUR 20 million in the 3Seas Investment Fund. These two milestones line up Bulgaria among the most active countries in 3Si that are willing to continue building up their Euro Atlantic future. Thus, AmCham Bulgaria strives to be the business partner to the national institutions in fulfilling our national interest,” commented Petar T. Ivanov, CEO, AmCham Bulgaria after the visit.
AmCham sees that Bulgaria’s development in the coming years will be based on upgrade of its production base and the increase of the services added value. This strategy will be successful only if there is a significant transformation of the investment climate and ways of doing business in Bulgaria. Among the strategic processes that should take place or need to be deepened include a variety of areas. Among them are the rule of law, digital transformation of business and administration, development of smart connectivity and smart grids, as well as the penetration of the 5G networks from reliable suppliers, intellectual property rights protection, limitations of the bottlenecks for the business – both local and foreign, e-government, fair and prompt justice, as well as transparent public procurement, and education that prepares the future talents in Bulgaria.
About the Three Seas Initiative
A total of 12 EU Member States between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic seas are currently involved in the Three Seas Initiative: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Its key partners are Germany, the European Union and the United States.
By area, the Three Seas countries represent almost 1/3 of the European Union and are home to 111 million people. However, figures from 2018 show that their average GDP per capita is just 78% of the EU average. At the same time, the average economic growth in the 12 countries from 2015-2019 was 3.5% compared to 2.1% in the EU.
More information about the Three Seas objectives can be found from here.
Read also: Three Seas Virtual Summit Joint Statement.