15th Jubilee Vienna Economic Forum – Vienna Future Dialogue 2018

The Prime Ministers of the Western Balkans – again at the Vienna Economic Forum for a round of cooperation

The Management Board and the Members of the Vienna Economic Forum had the honor and the pleasure to once again welcome high-ranking round of Prime Ministers from the Western Balkans at the 15th Jubilee Vienna Economic Forum – Vienna Future Dialogue 2018 which under the motto “Economy Meets Politics” took place at the House of Engineers, on 19 November 2018 in Vienna.

The 15th Jubilee Vienna Economic Forum was held under the Patronage of H.E. Mr. Sebastian Kurz, Federal Chancellor of Austria und as official event of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The President of the International Foundation for Sustainable Peace and Development (IFSPD) Mr. Dimitar Kostov, Ph.D, took part in this important event.

In the panel discussion on “Regional Cooperation as a Part of the European Integration. Digitisation – Bridging Gaps and Chance to Leapfrog “, together with H.E. Ms. Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, the Prime Ministers of Albania, H.E. Edi Rama, of Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Denis Zvizdic, of Kosovo, H.E. Ramush Haradinaj, of Montenegro, H.E. Duško Marković and Macedonia’s Vice Prime Minister, responsible for the economy, H.E. Kocho Angjushev, took part.

In her Opening speech, the VEF Secretary General, Ambassador Dr. Elena Kirtcheva, went back to the founding of Vienna Economic Forum in 2004 and emphasized, that when comparing the economic situation of the 14 Member countries of Vienna Economic Forum with the 15 years ago, it shows a generally positive economic development. Over all these years, the committed economy has helped to change a lot in the VEF countries. One thing only has remained unchanged: all of the states from the region continue to be in the focus of the economic interest of the Members of Vienna Economic Forum and this interest is shaped by the long-term motivation to participate in the economic revitalization and development of the entire region. The unchanged goal of the Vienna Economic Forum is to continue focusing on it and, as VEF members, to bring renowned Austrian, European and international companies with a serious interest in the economic development of the countries of the region on board.

The positive economic development is a result of a cooperation between business and politics and in this regard, the Secretary General has extended a big thank you to the representatives of the regional policy in the Balkans, the Prime Ministers who, as VEF patron members of the Patronage Committee, support this cooperation.

In his greeting, the host Dr. Kari Kapsch, President of the Austrian Association for Electrical Engineering, spoke about the development of the electrical engineering and energy industries and the many years of good experience of the association.

The VEF President DI Günther Rabensteiner emphasized the development of the Vienna Economic Forum on THE European Economic Platform, based in Vienna, as a platform for confidence building, for exchange of ideas and concrete cooperation in the economic sector, together with state institutions and political circles! A platform where visionaries from the worlds of business and politics meet and one that offers support and practical assistance to VEF members and the many representatives from business and politics in the various member states.

In her impulse statement, the Austrian Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs, H.E. Dr. Margarete Schramböck, stressed the importance and the advanced achievements of the Balkan countries cooperation in the area of ​​digitisation and the important role of this cooperation.

In his External View Statement, Dr. Ivan Krastev, appointed for 2018-2019 as the Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress, USA, introduced the high ranking audience with his visions of the development of the Balkans and Southeastern Europe.

Under the moderation by Mag. Heinz Messinger, Managing Director of AME International GmbH, Member of the Board of Management of Vienna Economic Forum, the high-ranking representatives of the Austrian business community and members of the VEF Executive Board DI. Peter Umundum, Member of the Board of Austrian Post and Vice President of Vienna Economic Forum, Mag. Stefan Szyszkowitz, Spokesman of the Executive Board, EVN AG and Member of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum, Mag. Hermann Anderl, Managing Director, Canon CEE GmbH and Vice President of Vienna Economic Forum, Dr. Gabriel LANSKY, Partner, LANSKY, GANZGER + partner, Member of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum and Mag. Thomas Arnoldner, CEO, A1 Telekom Austria and Member of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum discussed important aspects of regional cooperation in the digital industry.