Roberto Antonione, Secretary General of the Central European Initiative (CEI) and a delegation of the CEI-Executive Secretariat (CEI-ES) visited BCCI. They discussed with President Tsvetan Simeonov and Directors at the Chamber ideas for more intensive cooperation in the region.
Tsvetan Simeonov noted that BCCI has been working for many years with the Central European Initiative – the oldest regional organization in Central and Eastern Europe. He stressed that cooperation in the region is of great importance for Bulgaria and that is why one of the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU was the preparation of the Western Balkan countries for EU membership.
Roberto Antonione expressed the readiness of CEI to support countries in the region to create and develop partnerships in Southeastern Europe and especially in the Balkans. He expressed hope that the cooperation with the Bulgarian institutions and business from the recent past, which was especially active in the period before the country’s accession to the European Union, will restore its intensity.
Tsvetan Simeonov said that BCCI is interested in participating in programmes and projects of the initiative. The Bulgarian Chairmanship-in-Office of the BSEC in the first half of 2019 is yet another occasion to expand co-operation in the region. Simeonov pointed out that the mutually beneficial initiatives within the Association of Balkan Chambers (ABC) also continue, mentioning also the opportunities created by the Three Seas Initiative for closer business contacts, projects and investments. He confirmed BCCI’s willingness to inform the CEI Secretariat about all events and projects related to these organizations and invited Roberto Antonione to take part in the next Board meeting of the BSEC Business Council, which will be held in June in Sofia, during the 7th edition of the Balkan International Wine Festival, supported by BCCI. A special section of the Festival will be dedicated to the products of the countries from the Black Sea region.
Roberto Antonione presented another area of activity supported by the CEI Secretariat – the connection between business and science, and in particular, scientific diplomacy, on the occasion of the naming of Trieste, Italy as the city of science and an event on this topic in 2019.
Other issues related to bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the region were also discussed as positive signals of dynamic development and optimistic trends.