Constanta Danube – Black Sea Economic Opportunities Forum
Constanta Danube – Black Sea Economic Opportunities Forum was organized by the Aspen Institute and Constanta City Council in partnership with the Ministry for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, the Bucharest Office of the German Marshall Fund of the US, the World Bank Romanian Office, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and with the support of some key business players – Rompetrol, Damen, ExxonMobil, BCR. The Forum was intended to highlight Constanta’s potential of turning into an engine of growth on Romania’s Eastern flank.
The Forum intended to highlight Constanta’s potential of turning into an engine of growth on Romania’s Eastern flank.
- 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 explored 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: Hotel Nyota, Mamaia, Constanta
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, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Knowledge Partner: PwC
Sponsors: Rompetrol, Damen, ExxonMobil, BCR
Media Partner: Emerging Europe, Kiss FM, AGERPRES
September 28, 2018
10.00 – 11.00 Registration
11.00 – 11.3o Opening remarks
Mircea Geoana – Chairman Aspen Institute Romania
Decebal Fagadau – Mayor of Constanta
Lucian Patrascu – State Secretary, Romanian Government
Ioan Taus – General Manager Midia Marine Terminal, Rompetrol Group
11.30 – 12.00 Conversation: Constanta – a technology, energy and infrastructure hub with Sam Burke and Decebal Fagadau – Mayor of Constanta
12.00 – 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.
Ramona Manescu – Member of the European Parliament
Marcel Heroiu – Senior Urban Development Specialist in the World Bank office in Bucharest
Venera Vlad – Associate Director, Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Cristian Nacu – IFC Senior Country Officer for Romania and R. of Moldova
Ioana Gheorghiade – Director Corporate Underwriting BCR
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. 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.
Nicolae Havrilet – Adviser to the Minister for Energy, Romania
Mehmet Ogutcu – Founder & Executive Chair, Bosphorus Energy Club
Razvan Nicolescu – Executive Lead Advisor on Energy & Resources, Deloitte
Moderator: Radu Tudor, journalist
14.15 – 15.00 Lunch
15.00 – 15.45 Conversation: The future of the Black Sea Region (technology, energy and infrastructure) with Sam Burke and Mircea Geoana – Chairman Aspen Institute Romania and H.E. Koray Ertaş – Ambassador of Turkey to Romania
15.45 – 16.45 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.
Rino Brugge – Managing Director at Damen Shipyards Galati
Manfred Seitz – Secretary General, Pro Danube International
Bogdan Belciu – Partner, Management Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Moderator: Samuel Burke, CNN
16.45 – 17.00 Conclusions