Bucharest Forum 2013

Focusing closely on the needs of economic and strategic policy decision-makers in the region between the Adriatic, Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, Bucharest Forum aims to be an inclusive, relevant and lasting platform for open and informed dialogue. The Forum covers the main priorities for business and governments for the near future in this region. It is offering a practical platform for discussion and expertise-sharing that places decision-makers ahead of the curve, at a time of rapid and sometimes unpredictable changes. You may find a detailed brochure of the event here

Bringing together public and private actors, political, business and expert voices, Bucharest Forum aims to be a federative effort of all the critical elements needed for a meaningful linkage between EU, US and regional agendas when it comes to the development of the New Silk Road and also for a new push for Romania's economic growth and strategic contribution.
The central element uniting regional economic, political and strategic perspectives at Aspen Romania and for Bucharest Forum is the New Silk Road. This is equally a major focus for all the Forum's organizers and partners. Straddling the Black Sea uniting the Balkans, the Levant and the Caucasus regions, all the way to Central Asia and beyond this was the world's erstwhile primary trade route. It has seen its fair share of empires, wars, religions and plenty of conflict but it also was a major source of civilization and progress. A precursor to the forces of globalization if it ever was one, today the Silk Road is as complex and elusive a concept as the promise of lasting regional peace and security that conditions its existence.
For Romania, this is about linking needs and opportunities. Among the central needs are clarity of perspective for large-scale investment, economic stability, and enduring security across this entire region. The opportunity is that of an ambitious repositioning at the crossroads of energy, investment and trade between key regions that requires a less unilateral perspective and more of a common focus. Bucharest Forum is to contribute to bringing the clarity business and governments in the region need at testing times for the EU and of strategic shift towards Asia Pacific for the US.
The region between Central Europe and Central Asia lacks a permanent, recurring forum for informed, strategic debate. While many relevant and reputed events take place every year, we do not have a trans-regional debate uniting EU, US and the region's decision makers. Bucharest Forum can serve as a link to the tri-sea area between the Adriatic, Black Sea and the Caspian with the New Silk Road. It offers a Western anchor for a project that is equally important, strategically and economically, for the long-term stability and security of the entire region. The Forum is proposed in Bucharest but it requires a federated effort of many actors across the region.
For business and government, being in a place that straddles the Black Sea, East and West, opening links to Europe, the Levant and Central Asia can define the nature of the conversation. Whether energy or trade are the object of attention or long-term investments in transport infrastructure, legal barriers to cross-regional trade and development, all can be seen differently from Bucharest. In reverse, this is an opportunity to educate, inform and, why not, sell a regional perspective that is anchored in Romania.

Following the successful launch of Bucharest Forum, the next stage, starting with the 2013 edition, is to make it relevant for political decision-makers in Brussels, Washington and the region. The participation of a significant number of Prime Ministers and Ministers from the region is a condition of its success. In order to achieve this highest level of participation, the quality of input and expertise on offer needs to be one of a kind. We have invited some of the leading voices and personalities in the region, but also form Europe and the US, which have defined the strategic framework for the region. The level of conversation will be unparalleled and to some degree counterbalances the relative lack of attention the region sees today, with the US focusing on its Asia Pivot and Europe in the midst of its growth and identity crisis.

The full agenda of the 3 days can be found here
Key speakers included:

Victor Ponta, Prime Minister of Romania
Mircea Geoană, President of Aspen Institute Romania
Alina Inayeh, Director, German Marshall Fund Bucharest Office
Bogdan Aurescu, State Secretary for Strategic Affairs, Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
Michael Ruehle, Head of the Energy Security Section, NATO Emerging Security Challenges Division
Hans Binnendijk, Senior Fellow, SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations, John Hopkins University
Mostafa Dolatyar, General Director, Institute for Political and International Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IPIS)
Pirkka Tapiola, Head of the EU Delegation to Moldova, European External Action Service
David Koranyi, Deputy Director, Eurasia Center - Atlantic Council of the United States
Constantin Niţă, Romanian Minister Delegate for Energy
Vasile Iuga, Country Managing Partner, PwC Romania
Danila Bochkarev, Senior Fellow, EastWest Institute
Ramona Mănescu, Romanian Minister of Transport 
Asad Aleem, Energy Specialist, Asian Development Bank Representative
Norica Nicolai, Vice-Chair, Subcommittee on Security and Defence, European Parliament
Daniel Quadbeck, Program Manager, OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Program
Tural Karimov, Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO)
Sabina Škrtić, Assistant Minister for Competitiveness and Investments, Croatian Ministry of Economy
Tim Judah, Special Correspondent, The Economist 
Dan Nica, Minister for Information Society 
Babamyrat Taganov, Minister of Economy and Development, Turkmenistan
John Engler, President, American Business Round-table
Osman F. Boyner, President, Black Sea Caspian Business
Liviu Voinea, Minister Delegate for Budget 
Steven van Groningen, President, Raiffeisen Bank 
Mark Gitenstein, Special Counsel, Government & Global Trade practice in Mayer Brown's Washington DC office
Alan Paic, Acting Head of the Investment Compact for South East Europe, OECD
Mariana Câmpeanu, Minister of Labor, Family, Social Protection and Elderly
Remus Pricopie, Minister of National Education 
Süleyman Onatça, President, Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TURKONFED)
Florin Pogonaru, CEO, Central European Financial Services (TBC)
Radu Soviani, Spokesperson, Financial Oversight Authority (ASF) 
Péter Balás, Deputy Director General, DG Trade, European Commission
Ambassador Haluk Ilicak, Undersecretary of the Ministry for EU Affairs, Turkey
James Rosapepe, Former US Ambassador to Romania, Chair and CEO, Patuxent Capital Group
Iulian Chifu, Presidential Counselor, Department of Strategic Affairs, Security and Foreign Policy
Mihaela Geoană, President, Romanian Red Cross
Mariana Gheorghe, CEO, OMV Petrom SA
Kathryn Kolbert, Constance Hess Williams Director, Athena Center for Leadership Studies, Barnard College

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