President Radev: Eastern Europe is in great need of investment and the dialogue in "Three Seas" is a message to business
The development of transport, energy and digital connectivity is the basis of accelerated economic development and the achievement of a higher standard of living. Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev said on June 10 at the conference The Three Seas Initiative - Between Geopolitical Confrontation and Pragmatic Realism. The forum was organized by the Institute of Economics and International Relations and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and was attended by diplomats and leading experts in international relations. The event was moderated by the director of the Institute of Economics and International Relations Lyubomir Kyuchukov.
The transport, energy and digital infrastructure in our region is much less developed than in Western Europe, so the Three Seas initiative, hosted by Bulgaria this year, aims to change that, said Rumen Radev. The Three Seas Initiative is a platform for cooperation between 12 EU member states from Eastern Europe, and according to the President, by uniting the efforts of individual countries, our region can be much more effective in striving for social and economic cohesion with Western Europe.
According to various estimates, between 1 and 3 trillion euros are needed to achieve levels in the development of Eastern Europe's infrastructure that are similar with the ones in Western Europe. Therefore, according to President Radev, a balance should be sought between the huge needs and the real financial opportunities of the countries in the region. "Eastern Europe is in great need of investment and active dialogue at the highest level is a message to business in this direction," the head of state stressed. Interest in an investment partnership for the "Three Seas" has already been expressed by countries outside its geographical scope - Japan, South Korea, the UK, Qatar.
Rumen Radev defined the business forum, which will be held within the framework of the summit in July in Sofia, as an extremely important tool of the Three Seas Initiative.
According to him, this will enable representatives of Bulgarian business to meet with world leaders in digital and energy markets, which will stimulate the Bulgarian IT industry, digitalization and energy, creating an opportunity to attract large investments. The head of state stressed that this is the reason why the Minister of Economy was appointed as the national coordinator from the Bulgarian side of the initiative.
In his speech at the forum, the President highlighted Bulgaria's interest in expanding the geographical scope of the Three Seas Initiative by involving Greece as a partner in joint efforts to expand transport, energy and digital corridors in Eastern Europe. According to the President, achieving higher connectivity in Eastern Europe is unthinkable without the completion of the North-South transport corridors in Eastern Europe, which connect Bulgaria with Romania and Greece. The President also noted that the construction of new bridges on the Danube will encourage both economic exchange and tourism and transit of goods through our country, which will create a new economic perspective for Northern Bulgaria.
Investments in scientific and educational connectivity are a key factor in achieving sustainable social and economic cohesion in the EU, Rumen Radev stressed. The President reminded that science is already a leading factor in the development of the economy and therefore should be established as a priority in the regional partnership in Eastern Europe.
At the forthcoming summit in Sofia, an agreement on cooperation between research centres in the 12 member states of the European Union is expected to be signed, which will give a greater perspective to young scientists to seek intelligent solutions in the area of connectivity.