The Acropolis, Athens, Greece. Photo by Ava Babili (CC 2.0)
Annual Balkan Economic Conference The first annual Balkan Economic Forum (BEF) Conference will be held in Greece on 9 November 2015 at Cotsen Hall located at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens on the historic grounds of the Gennadius Library, a landmarked Athenian building in the city centre. The address is: 9 Anapiron Polemou Street, GR-10676 Athens. The BEF conference features guest speakers, discussion groups and business networking events that allow industry experts, government officials, academicians and NGO representatives to exchange ideas, re-think existing business models, form new partnerships and develop strategies for the advancement of Balkan economic growth and global competitiveness. The following agenda is currently planned for this year’s forum. The schedule includes panel discussions on stage guided by an experienced moderator and, time permitting, questions from the audience.
09:00-09:15 Balkan Economic Forum Introduction
09:15-11:00 Balkan Energy Strategies
A panel discussion among a select group of experts on the oil, gas and renewable energy industries who will address the growing Balkan energy requirements including the need for energy efficiency, reliability and security; the expansion of the Balkan energy network; the Balkans as an increasingly important transportation hub for energy deliveries to Europe from diversified sources; the latest energy priorities and initiatives in the energy sectors to meet the environmental, energy and geopolitical security challenges in the medium to long term; and the expected short to medium term Balkan energy mix which is important to those responsible for private and public sector business planning.
11:00-11:30 Coffee break
11:30-13:00 Private Sector Investment in the Balkans
A panel discussion among experts from key industries who will address the following associated with private sector investment in the Balkans: the need for access to capital; Balkan sources of debt and equity financing; factors, including challenges, that influence private sector investment; the role of advanced technology; and the expectations as well as achievements associated with Balkan private sector investments including their impact on inter-state cooperation, regional economic development and geo-political security.
13:00-14:00 Buffet Lunch
14:00-15:30 Balkan Economic Development Outlook
A panel discussion among Balkan economic development experts who will discuss: a range of successful economic development measures, programmes and organisations that support Balkan private sector investment, sustainable development, global competitiveness, inter-state cooperation, international trade, and the responsible management of natural resources on which many key industries (such as tourism, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and energy) depend; sustainable economic development during this era of national transformations from centralised planning to free market economies; and the economic issues associated with the European migration wave and climate change. The panel discussion will include an assessment of economic development challenges that need to be addressed and conclude with a forecast of the short term regional economic outlook.
15:30-16:00 Coffee break
16:00-17:30 Banking on the Future
A panel discussion among private and public sector banking institution representatives and officials on: interest rates; national priority monetary and fiscal policies; recent banking regulation policies that support a stable banking system and mitigate the risks associated with global conditions beyond the control of any banking institution or national banking system within our globalised banking network; capital controls on banks in Greece; non-performing loans; and favourable Balkan economic growth factors, challenges and recommended priorities for governments from the perspective of the global banking industry..
17:30-19:30 Business networking reception
Please note that English is the working language of the Balkan Economic Forum and will be used by all speakers without translation services throughout the Forum’s official presentation of the conference agenda.
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