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

Agenda 2018

Wednesday May 30th 2018
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030
08:45 - 08:45
09:00 - 09:15
Introduction to the SDGs of the Region
09:15 - 10:30
Education for Innovation & Sustainable Development (UN SDG No.4)
10:30 - 11:00
11:00 - 12:30
Sustainable Consumption & Production moving towards circular economy (UN SDG No.12)
12:30 - 13:30
Wednesday May 30th 2018
Business Summit «Rail, Road, Rivers Connectivity to the EU via Balkans Region»
13:30 - 14:00

Business Summit is a leading platform where business and policy-makers meet together to providing views for transforming ideas into business reality. It is related with the annual headline and the declaration to be issued upon the conclusions of the Forum.

14:00 - 15:30
In focus: EU Western Balkans, China 16+1, Balkan Silk Road initiatives

Balkans and Black Sea region is at the focal interests of the EU, China, Russia and other world’s superpowers. Major initiatives, such as the EU Western Balkan initiative (The Berlin Process 2014), the Balkan Silk Road and China-CEE 16+1 initiative (BRI 2013), denoting a power shift on energy, air-sea-land connectivity, infrastructures-logistics–hubs networks, in the emerging economies of the region. Hi-level public officials shaping regional challenges and opportunities.

15:30 - 16:15
Break (sponsored by SALFO & ASSOCIATES SA)
16:15 - 18:00
“Walk the Talk” | from potential to trading partnerships

Major cross-sectoral business deals in energy, sea and land infrastructures, rail networks etc are in progress. Hi-level business representatives providing forecasts on what should be expected through all cutting edge initiatives and to what extent can be beneficial to the economies of the Balkans and Black Sea region.

18:00 - 19:00
Partners & Sponsors networking reception
19:30 - 21:00
Welcome Dinner
Thursday 31 May 2018
Digital Markets | Energy Affairs | Women in Leadership | Circular Economy
09:00 - 09:20
Welcome notes
09:20 - 09:30
Forum Inauguration
09:30 - 10:30
S/1: EU, Balkans, Black Sea perspectives

Balkans & Black Sea citizens’ prosperity relates with Financial Stability, Economic Growth, Intergovernmental relations, Neighborhood Policies, Multilateral Dialogue, Institutional cooperation and the Rule of Law in the states of the region. This session delivers notes by Key Officials to enhancing policy dialogues, pooling of resources for competitiveness and innovation and strengthening bi-regional cooperation.

10:30 - 11:00
11:00 - 12:30
S/2: Digital markets-crossover economies: "Cyber security & ICT assurance"

After steam power, electricity and IT, the fourth industrial revolution will again fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to each other. Digitalization brings about changes in production methods and shifts patterns of consumption. It presents risks as well as opportunities, and offers chances for inclusion as well as exclusion. This double-edged sword is addressed in this session on the digital economy and innovation. Local, national and global contexts, competitiveness, public policies, transformation of business models, transformation and prospects for innovation from a regional perspective. Optimization is a process, not an end state. Collecting information, tracking trends, testing new rules and staying competitive in the continuously changing digital economy are key to holistic approach and effective management.

12:30 - 13:30
13:30 - 15:00
S/3: Energy affairs

Energy cooperation, especially in the sectors of electricity and natural gas, has always been at the forefront of regional cooperation and integration in S.E. Europe. Energy projects of regional and international significance are considered throughout the BSEC region as a means of furthering market integration and liberalization while supporting local communities from a developmental perspective. Scope of this group will be to pinpoint, analyze and assess the most important energy challenges affecting the BSEC area with a view of promoting cooperative bilateral, intra-regional and inter-regional solutions to jointly overcome those challenges.

15:00 - 15:15
15:15 - 16:45
S/4 (Parallel): Women in leadership: “How can the private sector advance gender equality and women's empowerment?”

The Panel will showcase organizations and private sector that advance gender equality and women’s empowerment at the workplace, marketplace and communities by incorporating best practices and gender-sensitive policies. The overall objective of the panel is to raise Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) awareness among all participants and encourage more companies in the Balkans and Black Sea region to sign onto the WEPs.

15:15 - 16:45
S/5 (Parallel): Green growth & circular economy: "New technologies for solid waste management and eco-innovation"

This year session is focused on solid waste management (collection, sorting, recovery of materials, recycling, waste to energy but also bio-gas and bio-fuels), as well as to Eco-innovation and new technologies towards environmental friendly solutions.

Attention will be also given to the management of waste water and sludge and the reuse of them as a product, along with RES about food waste, biomass, green waste and agricultural waste as energy resources.

16:45 - 17:00
17:00 - 18:00
S/1-S/5: Moderators’ Conclusions
20:00 - 22:00
Official dinner (by invitation only)
Friday 1 June 2018
Maritime, Transports, Infrastructures | Higher Education-Business Innovation | Culture, Sustainable Tourism
08:45 - 09:00
Welcome Notes
09:00 - 10:30
S/6: Maritime, Transports, Infrastructures, HUBS

Session aims to highlight the means of transport, infrastructures and hubs as key vehicle for economic development. From airports to ports and the hinterland connections, a trans-European efficient transport network requires deeper cooperation and regional coordination in order to connecting people and facilitating trade exchanges.

10:30 - 10:45
10:45 - 12:00
S/7 (Parallel): Higher Education-Innovation: "Digital Transformation & Innovation, the role of technology in driving future changes"

In an era that the business environment is changing constantly, higher education is considered as a critical player for the future. “Smart Institutions” recognize the need to incorporate experience-based learning, focusing on skills adapted to real-word business challenges. The emergence of new collaborative education models reinvents education by blending career and technical skills, with a number of affiliated companies to provide practical workplace experience with internships. To support growth, economic development and social change, higher education is progressively adapting to new technologies, collaborating with industry forces towards shaping a new ecosystem in an evolving world. This session deploys business schools “learning by flow” education with regards to today’s workforce and skills requirements, highlighting business’ needs for creating, delivering, and capturing value for generating revenues in order to remain competitive.

10:45 - 12:00
S/8 (Parallel): Culture - Sustainable Tourism: "The Internet of things in Tourism & Cultural industries"

Tourism and Culture stands a major source of income for many countries, considered a people-oriented industry which provides jobs and helps revitalizing local economies. Although the impacts of the massive form of tourism usually results social dislocation, loss of cultural heritage, economic dependence and ecological degradation. Tourism need to be sustainable, protecting tangible and intangible cultural heritage, respecting local society and the travelers, but moreover to benefit the people and the environment of the host country. This session shares policies and information of responsible management in hotel, cruise, air transportations, tour-operators and showcases practices to optimizing cooperation at intra-regional level.

12:15 - 12:45
S/6-S/8: Moderators’ Conclusions
12:45 - 13:00
Forum Declaration
13:00 - 13:15
Announcing 2019 Hosting & Co-Organizing City/Country
13:15 - 14:00
14:00 - 17:00
Social Program