Context:

  • Figures issued by the National Prognosis Commission show that Constanta, as a county, contributes with 5% to the total national GDP.
  • The larger area comprising maritime Danube and the Black Sea is host of important industries like shipbuilding, logistics, energy, tourism or agribusiness. Constanta and the broader region also represent a natural gateway for trade and investment from and to Europe. The European Union Danube Strategy will most probably receive a new boost in the perspective of the successive presidencies of the EU Council of Austria and Romania and of the ongoing negotiations for the EU Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2028.
  • In 2017, Aspen Institute Romania, in partnership with the Constanta City Hall, the local Chamber of Commerce and the Ovidius University, launched the Aspen Constanta City Lab. Aspen City Lab is a global initiative of the Aspen international network, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies.
  • According to a World Bank study, 22.2% of Romanians would choose to move to Constanta, and among the reasons most frequently cited by respondents for this election are: proximity to the sea and good quality of life offered by the city. Moreover, Constanta Metropolitan Area is one of the few in which there has been a demographic increase lately, in the context of a steady decline in Romania’s population. This is the best indicator, a city that represents a magnet for people is indeed a competitive city and a city that has potential.
  • Energy sector is strategically important and there is high potential for growth. There is high potential to become a key player in the region: already today, Romania has one of the highest self-sufficiency ratios and recent discoveries have the potential to increase regional exports. New discoveries in the Black Sea are opening the path for Romania to become one of the few energy independent countries in Europe.

Areas of interest:

  • Economic opportunities and financing the local and regional economy. This panel will explore an important range of projects and financing prospects for the greater Constanta region, starting from a dedicated study conducted by the World Bank. Multiple financing options will be analyzed, from FDI and national options to the Danube Strategy and other European funds and other institutional and private investors.
  • Constanta – an energy gateway for the EU. Romania, through Constanta, can become a Gateway from East to West and North to South and has the potential of becoming a regional hub for developing infrastructure, energy and commercial hub. Constanta and the Black Sea have an important potential in the energy sector, that can not only help Romania gain its energy independence, but also can contribute to the development of a sustainable Energy Union. Thus, Constanta should strengthen its potential of becoming an even more significant energy hub at the regional and European level.
  • Unlocking Constanta’s full potential: Investing in infrastructure and logistics. Due to its geographical location, the Port of Constanta can become a Gateway into the EU for goods originating in Asia and the Middle East, with the destination of Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to reducing the distance of shipping routes by approximately 2,400 nautical miles (Port of Shipment – Constanta instead of Shipping Port – Northwest Europe), the distance traveled by road transport will be diminished as Romania is closer to the countries in Central and Eastern Europe with about 650 kilometers. In order to achieve this objective, the Port of Constanta should ensure rapid transit of goods to the EU market (including Romania) as well as “Near-Shoring” processing capabilities.

Location: Constanta, Romania

Organizers: Aspen Institute Romania and Constanta City Hall

Partners: Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, the Bucharest Office of the German Marshall Fund of the US, World Bank Romanian Office.

Knowledge Partner: PwC

Sponsors: Rompetrol, Damen, ExxonMobil

Media Partner: Emerging Europe, Kiss FM

 

Agenda

September 27, 2018
20.00 – 22.00 Speakers dinner

September 28, 2018
10.00 – 11.00 Registration

11.00 – 11.45 Opening remarks
Mircea Geoana – Chairman Aspen Institute Romania
Decebal Fagadau – Mayor of Constanta
Radu Stefan Oprea – Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship
Alexei Golovin – KMG International Vice President for Corporate Development and Strategy (TBC)

11.45 – 12.00 Guest speaker: Abbigail Rupp – Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest (TBC)

12.00 – 12.20 Conversation: Romania’s Priorities and Challenges for the EU Presidency with Samuel Burke and Victor Negrescu, Minister for European Affairs

12.20 – 13.15 Panel I: Economic opportunities and financing the local and regional economy. This panel will explore an important range of projects and financing prospects for the greater Black Sea – Danube region, based on a study conducted by the World Bank. Multiple financing solutions will be analyzed, from FDI, national and subnational options, to the Danube Strategy, European and institutional funding.
Panelists:
Ramona Manescu – Member of the European Parliament
Marcel Heroiu – Senior Urban Development Specialist in the World Bank office in Bucharest
Venera Vlad – Senior Banker, Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Daniel Jimenez – JASPERS, European Investment Bank (TBC)

Moderator: Craig Turp, Emerging Europe

13.15 – 13.30 Coffee break

13.30 – 14.15 Panel II: Constanta and the Black Sea – an energy hub for Europe. With the recent discoveries of natural gas in the Black Sea off-shore, Constanta is ideally located for becoming a significant energy hub at the regional and European level.
Panelists:
Iulian Iancu – President, Industries and Services Committee, Chamber of Deputies
Energy industry representatives

Moderator: Radu Tudor, journalist

14.15 – 15.00 Lunch

15.00 – 15.20 Conversation: A European Union after Brexit with Samuel Burke and Andrew Noble – British Ambassador to Romania (TBC)

15.20 – 16.30 Panel III: Unlocking Constanta’s multiregional full potential: Investing in human capital, technology, infrastructure and logistics. The Danube and the Black Sea have an important potential in connecting Europe to Eurasia through trade and transport routes. Due to its geographical location, the Port of Constanta can become a Gateway into the EU for goods originating in Asia and the Middle East, with the destination of Central and Western Europe. This panel will discuss how this objective can be achieved, both from a public policies and business perspective.
Panelists:
Rino Brugge – Managing Director at Damen Shipyards Galati
Manfred Seitz – Secretary General, Pro Danube International
Cristian Nacu – IFC Senior Country Officer for Romania and R. of Moldova
Bogdan Belciu – Partner, Management Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Moderator: Samuel Burke, CNN

16.30 – 17.00 Conclusions