American Chambers of Commerce in Bulgaria and Latvia organize 3SI Digital Conference

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, showed that the Three Seas Initiative will enter a new turning point. This initiative has never been conceived as a military or defensive alliance. Its three dimensions – digital, infrastructural and transport – have a purely economic application and actually seek – through joint projects and economic integration – to fill the gaps that exist in connectivity from the Baltic countries to Bulgaria and the Black Sea. Today, we see that we have the exceptional need to rely on excellent digital connectivity and cyber-security, on the reliable highway and rail supplies, and on guarantees of diversification and energy security.” These are the words of Peter T. Ivanov, CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria, at the Digital Transformation, Smart Infrastructure, Connectivity and Security Conference held in Riga, Latvia yesterday, April 28, 2022.

The event was jointly organized by the American Chambers of Commerce in Latvia and Bulgaria, in partnership with Digital Poland and Google, and was held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the Latvian capital.

Digitalization of the Three Seas region will be key to creating, attracting and retaining talents. “Talent goes before technology and project funding. It is known that there is capital available through many instruments – EU funds, private equity and venture capital, public-private partnerships, etc.,” added Petar Ivanov. “For example, INSAIT – an institute for computer science and artificial intelligence – recently opened doors in Bulgaria because our compatriot – a world-class scientist – managed to convince two top Swiss universities, two American companies and four successive Bulgarian governments to establish this institute in Sofia,” he gave an example.

The conference was opened with key messages from John Carwile, US Ambassador to Latvia, Raimonds Lapins, Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Latvia and Edgars Bondars, Latvia’s Special Ambassador for the Three Seas Initiative.

The focus of the discussions will be on the conduct of transformational processes during significant geopolitical changes in the Three Seas region. Russia’s war in Ukraine has highlighted the need for more secure digital infrastructure, services and policies in Europe, as well as the importance of a strong transatlantic partnership to support our democracies. The Digitalization Panel was moderated by Michal Kanownik, Chairman of Digital Poland and the CEE Digital Coalition. Speakers were Artūrs Toms Plešs, Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Latvia (the institution responsible for digitalization), Mark Boris Andrijanič, Minister of Digitalization, Slovenia, Ian Brzezinski, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council, Washington DC, USA, and Marta Poslad, Director for CEE and Transatlantic Public Policy, Google.

Event Video

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Photo Gallery – 3SI Digital Conference, Riga, April 28th, 2022