- Baltic Business Forum is behind us. On 10-12 April, we met in hospitable Świnoujście, located in the thriving West Pomerania.
11 BBF was held under the patronage of the Ministry of Investment and Development, the Ministry of Energy and the Representation of the European Commission in Poland. Co-organizers of the BBF were the City of Świnoujście, the Marshal’s Office of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship and the Polish-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce. We are proud that COVER could also co-create this event as one of the supporting patrons.
What distinguishes BBF from other conferences?
- Geopolitical format. For several years, the idea of BBF has been to support economic cooperation in the ABC-Adriatic Region, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. Historically, this concept refers to the idea of Międzymorze created by Józef Piłsudski, it also refers to the reflection on cooperation in the ABC Region undertaken by the democratic opposition in the PRL and the idea of building economic cooperation on the north-south axis of Europe, which appeared after Poland’s accession to the EU. The common denominator of these ideas is the recognition of Ukraine as an important political and economic partner. We count – and this was confirmed in the debates of the 11th BBF – that the idea of the Tri-Sea, promoted since 2015 by Polish diplomacy and referring only to EU countries, will soon become the “Plus” tripod, plus Ukraine and plus Turkey. It is difficult to think about the economic development of this region, about creating the “bloodstream of the economy”, which is the transport and energy infrastructure, forgetting about these two large countries. This year, the idea promoted by us had special listeners. The BBF was attended by representatives of embassies located in Warsaw, representing 22 countries.
- BBF promotes Świnoujście and West Pomerania as a regional energy and transport hub. Did you know that renewable energy produced in this region can already satisfy 70% of its energy needs? This is a good place to discuss energy security. It operates and expands the LNG terminal, the Baltic Pipe is implemented here, offshore wind farms will be built here. Thank you prof. Mykhailo M. Gonchar for help in organizing this debate and inviting her outstanding participants, among them Ilya Ponomareva, a Russian oppositionist who was the only one in the Verkhovna Rada of the Russian Federation to vote against the annexation of Crimea. Representatives of PORR and Gulermak companies promoted their preparations for the construction of an underwater tunnel connecting the islands on which Świnoujście lies.
- BBF promotes thinking about the region and cooperation of states, but also shows the strength of local government and examples of good action of local authorities. Two years ago, during the BBF, the Polish-Ukrainian Academy of Cities was inaugurated, a platform serving the transfer of experiences of Polish self-government to the decentralization of power in Ukraine. Representatives of the local self-government in the Kharkiv region with Diana Barinowa listened to the discussions of Polish local governments about their experience in housing, creating local development strategies and creating efficient, friendly public transport. Local managers from the Upper Silesia-Zagłębie Metropolis, Kraków, Łódź, Szczecin, Ostrów Wielkopolski, Świnoujście, Nowogard and the Board of the Westpomeranian Region shared their experience.
- BBF is not only for its registered participants. Residents and patients of Świnoujście in the Baltic Business Cafe met with prof. Grzegorz Kołodka, prof. Michał Kleiber, Weronika Marczuk and ambassador Jan Piekło.
We invite you to watch the photo gallery: