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Mariya Gabriel: The Vienna Economic Forum shows that Southeast Europe is a factor for stability, security and development

13 November 2023 News

The next edition of the Vienna Economic Forum will be held in Sofia at the invitation of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mariya Gabriel opened the 20th anniversary edition of the Vienna Economic Forum. The motto this year is ‘Continuing to Build Economic Bridges during Difficult Times’.

The opening ceremony was attended by the President of the Forum — Ambassador Victor Jackovich, the Prime Minister of Kosovo — Albin Kurti, the Chairman of the Management Board of Glavbolgarstroy Holding Dipl. Eng. Kalin Peshov and President of Marmara Group Foundation Dr. Akkan Suver. Mariya Gabriel expressed special thanks to Ambassador Dr Elena Kirtcheva, Founding Member and Secretary General of the Vienna Economic Forum.

‘The Vienna Economic Forum is an engine for development. It plays a leading role in finding solutions to global and regional challenges’, Mariya Gabriel said, highlighting three main challenges. ‘First of all, we need a clear vision for the SEE region in key strategic areas such as energy, transport and infrastructure. At second place, it is important to invest in innovation to bring benefits and clear perspectives to the new generation. Education and training play a key role here. At third place, the Vienna Economic Forum has always shown that the Western Balkans belong in the EU. They are a part of the European family. It is now important to highlight which steps in the enlargement process will bring concrete benefits to citizens.’

The Vienna Economic Forum was established in 2004 with the strategic aim of promoting regional cooperation and dialogue between the member states in the Adriatic to Black Sea region. For two decades, the Forum has established itself as a bridge between economics and politics. It brings together politicians, economists and diplomats for important discussions to develop the regional economy.

‘With its work over the past twenty years, the Forum shows that the region of South-Eastern Europe is a factor for stability, security and development. Europe needs the region and the region needs Europe’, the Deputy Prime Minister stressed. ‘I wish the Forum to keep contributing to finding sustainable solutions to regional problems, help attracting investment and supporting young talents.’

On the proposal of Mariya Gabriel, Sofia will host the next meeting of the Vienna Economic Forum, which will take place on 22 April 2024.

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