The Three Seas Initiative’s (3SI) event “Business Opportunities in Filling the North-South Connectivity Gap” on the morning of May 12th has become an example of well thought through strategies turning into real life investments of the initiative’s participating member countries and entrepreneurs. The meeting provided a discussion platform to investigate opportunities for strengthening connectivity and security in infrastructure, digital, and energy sectors on the North-South axis, but also to recognize the future economic advantages, exclusively, with case studies from the Three Seas region on various projects developed and planned within the Investment Fund.
In Guildhall, City of London, the event assembled top government officials as well as international investment professionals involved in the 3SI. The introductions were given by Ivita Burmistre, Ambassador of Latvia to the United Kingdom, and Piotr Wilczek, Ambassador of Poland to the United Kingdom. Lord Gerry Grimstone - Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade, Andris Teikmanis - Head of the Chancery of the President of Latvia and Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka - President of the Management Board of BGK, the Polish Development Bank and Chair of the Supervisory Board of the 3SIIF gave keynote speeches.
It was stressed by Lord Gerry Grimstone that the United Kingdom strongly supports 3SI aims that are especially urgent in the current geopolitical situation and that it is of a great importance to work closely to manage economic impact of the crisis. “Sanctions to Russia and decision to cut of energy supplies from Russia cause the necessity of close cooperation of like-minded countries in the energy sector, and technologies such as small modular nuclear reactors can support the United Kingdom and 3SI region countries in achieving goals of energy sector. I do believe that 3SI have vital role to play in the future,” he said informing that the delegation of the United Kingdom is also intending to attend the 3SI Business Forum in Riga. Ms. Daszyńska-Muzyczka elaborated on the exiting connectivity gap between the 3SI region’s countries admitting that “it is our responsibility on how to be better prepared to invest in the region and build a better quality of life for the society of the region.” Whereas Mr. Andris Teikmanis in his opening words concluded that “the summit meeting in Riga will focus on how we can achieve a better resilience and connectivity throughout the region in a sustainable way, especially in the light of the current volatile geopolitical and economic situation”.
The discussion panels focused on increased connectivity in Energy, Transport and Digital Sectors, and several important ongoing and finalized 3SI’s investment projects were discussed. Among the participants were Susannah Simon, Europe Director at FCDO, Marin Raykov, Ambassador of Bulgaria, Paweł Nierada, First Vice-President of the Board of BGK, the Polish Development Bank and Member of the Supervisory Board of the 3SIIF and Edgars Bondars from Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also Ambassador-at-Large for Preparation of Three Seas Initiative Summit, who stressed during the discussion the importance of connecting vision with action: “Riga 3SI Summit invites to link the vision with action and our aim is to foster tangible results, focusing on a few ambitious but still achievable deliverables, so that we can transform our vision into actions and continue to walk the talk.” It was also added by Mr. Kaspars Rožkalns, leading and representing Latvian Investment and Development Agency that it is important to invest in smart and future-proof projects, adding that “3SI Business Forum will focus on what kind of future we see for transport, energy and digital sector in the region.”
In the closing part of the event, featuring case studies presentation by Amber Infrastructure Group, demonstrating various projects developed and planned within the Investment Fund, Joe Philipsz, Senior Investment Director at Amber Infrastructure revealed that currently Fund has a significant pipeline of future investment with at least 200 hundred projects. “3SI Investment Fund is the only Fund dedicated to infrastructure development in the 3SI region and it is necessary to attract more investment into the Fund,” he added. Whereas Reinis Bērziņš, Chairman of the Management Board of Development Finance Institution “Altum” concluded providing examples on the projects from Latvia in the 3SI Investment Fund in all 3 target areas – energy, transport and digitalisation, elaborating on the examples and success stories.
The upcoming 3SI Summit and Business Forum in Riga will play a major role in the future development and economic security in the 3SI region, as the most rapid growing economic area in Europe. It will be a significant networking event to evolve Europe’s transatlantic economic and financial ties as well as ensuring digital and infrastructure connectivity, strategy and safety, building stronger relationships, also on Europe’s North-South axis.