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Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum
Stability | Growth | Cooperation
30 May - 1 June 2018 | Thessaloniki, Greece

Mayor’s Message

Yiannis Moisiadis web

Thessaloniki is a welcoming and lively city with a long history and a multicultural past. It is an ideal place for leisure and recreation, a city with very diverse influences and a very vibrant cultural life.

“Many stories, one heart” is the motto we use to describe our city to the visitor. Thessaloniki is itself a mosaic of diversity, a lively and colourful city where many cultural influences meet and different stories connect.

The city is renowned for its events and festivals, many taking place near our brand new promenade along the waterfront. Events like the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, Thessaloniki Food Festival and Thessaloniki Pride Festival are held annually. In the last few years, the city has hosted a number of international events for the first time, including the 15th Mediterranean Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean in 2011, the World Music Expo (WOMEX) in 2012, and the 12th World MaxiBasketball Championship in 2013.

Hosting the Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum in 2018 is not merely an honour and a privilege for Thessaloniki. In addition, it gives us a unique opportunity to present the city as a key location of the Balkan Peninsula and a gateway to the EU for all Asian investors. The forum will give us the opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue and host mutually beneficial synergies, consortiums and agreements between Asian and EU countries. It will give to our guests the chance to investigate potential investments and reach agreements in all the Balkan countries and the Black Sea basin, aiming to benefit all the engaged parties and contribute to the sustainable growth of the entire region.

I am convinced that governmental, institutional and market stakeholders can co-operate and work efficiently together in order to connect the Balkans and the Black Sea Region with the rest of Europe as well as with Asian countries.

The Forum for the coming year will take place under the title “Rail, Road, Rivers Connectivity” to the EU via the Balkan Region. Thus, it will provide the opportunity to shed light on the relevant discussion by approaching it from different perspectives. It will offer a three dimensional basis (governments-academia-markets) on which the appropriate network for an efficient, sustainable and mutually beneficial connection of our Region with the rest of the EU and Asia can be developed.

I would like to welcome and express my gratitude to our co – organizers of the “Balkans and Black Sea Cooperation Forum 2018”, to the Geo Routes Cultural Institute and Helexpo, as well as to our strategic partner, the Ministry of Economy and Development. I would also like to invite all the involved parties and the participants to experience the attractions, the culture and the hospitality of our city as well as explore the significant investment opportunities present in the entire region of Thessaloniki.

I am sure you will have a fruitful and enjoyable time. Participating in the forum will convince you to convey its main message and invite more people to grasp the rising economic opportunities of Thessaloniki and of the region as a whole.

Yiannis Boutaris
Mayor
City of Thessaloniki
Greece