22 Apr 2024

The Board of Directors of the Vienna Economic Forum met in Sofia

The meeting in Sofia comes eight months after the forum opened its representative office in partnership with the Bulgarian construction holding Glavbolgarstroy.

The day before the Vienna Economic Forum conference at the Boyana Residence, the members of the Board of Directors of the forum gathered for an opening event. Speakers at the opening included Ambassador Dr. Elena Kircheva, founder and general secretary of the Vienna Economic Forum, and Ambassador Dr. Emil Brix, director of the Diplomatische Akademie Wien – Vienna School of International Studies and president of the VIF.

The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, who is also the patron of the forum, came to Bulgaria especially for the occasion. In front of the Board of Directors and the guests of the opening event, he shared that holding this meeting in Sofia is a sign of the good relations between Bulgaria and Kosovo, as well as between Kosovo and all the countries represented at the Vienna Economic Forum.

"We are about to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the VEF, which undoubtedly has made a great contribution to the promotion of regional cooperation from the Adriatic to the Black Sea," said the Prime Minister of Kosovo, adding that stable relations between neighboring countries and regional cooperation are beneficial to all and lead to economic integration and prosperity.

During the subsequent conference at the Boyana Residence, held under the title "We continue to build economic bridges in difficult times," Kalin Peshov, Chairman of the Management Board of Glavbolgarstroy Holding and member of the Board of Directors of the Vienna Economic Forum, provided examples of different types of bridge facilities in construction. He emphasized that economic bridges exist, are visible, and serve their function, and that Schengen membership is a goal worth striving for.

“There are girder bridges, there are cable-stayed bridges, but there are not hundreds of types. It's the same in life. We have bridges between nations, between countries, and between people. They are built on the basis of sports, culture, and economy, which we are talking about today. Seventeen years ago, our company built two hospitals in North Macedonia, and fourteen years ago, the iconic Courthouse building in Kosovo. We have many employees from Albania. In the last five years, we have had an extremely strong partnership with Turkey for materials and the assignment of work activities," said Kalin Peshov.

The Minister of Economy of Kosovo, Artane Rizvanolli, also participated in the event in Sofia. She emphasized that the importance of the motto "Economics meets politics" has never been greater than today.

Rizvanolli pointed out that from the supply of oil and gas, through microchips and semiconductors, to the disruption of navigation in the Red Sea, all these remind us that the economy and geopolitics are closely intertwined. According to her, economic interdependence exposes our weaknesses, but that does not mean we should avoid cooperation. On the contrary, we need to strengthen it and base it on common goals and values.

The Vienna Economic Forum is organized regularly in the spring in each member state, with the aim of promoting regional economic cooperation. The member countries of the forum are Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, and Ukraine.