The XI Eurasian Economic Forum in Verona (Italy) took place on 2526 October 2018. The annual business event was organized by the Conoscere Eurasia Association, the Roscongress Foundation, and the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The Forum was held under the theme «An Economy of Trust and Business Diplomacy from the Atlantic to the Pacific». During discussions, the concept of trust was highlighted as a crucial element for securing long-term growth and development for the global economy. The importance of establishing a dialogue between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union on matters concerning political and economic cooperation was highlighted in particular.
Two special sessions were held at the Forum: «An Economy of Trust and Energy Security of Greater Eurasia» and «Current Geopolitics: Risks and Prospects». In addition, a number of panel discussions took place, including «Current Geopolitics and Freedom of Business», «Business Dialogue in Greater Eurasia», «Financial Resources for a Breakthrough in Eurasias Economy of the Future», «Business without Borders between Europe and Asia», «Infrastructure from the Atlantic to the Pacific», «Innovations in Agriculture and the Agro-Industrial Sector», and «Innovation Technologies as a Vector of Sustainable Social and Economic Development».
Participants also discussed aspects related to new projects, models of state collaboration and economic cooperation in todays environment. These particularly focused on cooperation in energy, manufacturing, technology, transport, agriculture, and agro-industry.
The event was attended by around 1,300 delegates from more than 40 countries, including Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, China, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Mongolia, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, the USA, and Uzbekistan.
«The Verona Forum has provided a platform to continue discussions on establishing an economy of trust, and building stable and sustainable relations between countries. These are pressing matters which were first explored at SPIEF. European businesses have shown a high degree of interest in working in partnership with the Eurasian business community. Representatives from the commercial sector understand the necessity of dialogue and identifying areas on which they can collaborate to restore an atmosphere of trust and breathe new life into trade and economic relations between the EU and EAEU. This topic will be expanded upon further still at the next St Petersburg International Economic Forum, which will take place on 68 June 2019,» said Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation Anton Kobyakov.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of Italy Matteo Salvini also spoke at the Forum of the need to get back to the negotiating table.
In turn, President of the Foundation for Worldwide Cooperation and former Prime Minister of Italy (19961998, 20062008) Romano Prodi advocated expanding relations with Eurasia, which «offers advantageous models for both sides». Rapprochement, he claimed, calls for specific initiatives from the EU.
President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin underscored the necessity of new approaches to cooperation. These included proactively galvanizing partnerships between business, government bodies, and the general public of respective countries; more broadly using international platforms and institutions to overcome restrictions; and to reexamine business international strategies and diversify ties and cooperation channels.
The XII Eurasian Economic Forum will take place on 24-25 October 2019.