21st Traditional Garden Party of Vienna Economic Forum
in the Paradise - Garden of Villa Flora

1 Foto 21.GP 
The 21st Traditional Garden Party of Vienna Economic Forum took place on 10 June 2022 in the Paradise-Garden of Villa Flora

After the long break of the pandemic period, the approximately 300 members, partners and friends of Vienna Economic Forum were able to enjoy the most popular summer social event of Vienna Economic Forum, defined as a "Culinary and Musical journey through the VEF Member countries".

The mixture of guests from all countries of the VEF region, from Europe and world-wide was warmly welcomed by the hostess, Prof. Mag. Tauchhammer, Publisher of Society Magazine, long-standing VEF - Media Partner and VEF honorary member.

In her emotional opening speech, the Secretary General, Ambassador Dr. Elena Kirtcheva especially thanked the Ambassadors and Charges d’affaires of the Embassies of the VEF countries and emphasized: "All of you, Excellencies, accredited in Austria, have a highly responsible mission at this specific time: to not only represent your own country, but to act much more in a regional and European dimension, to think of a common European future, to do everything in our power to ensure the prosperity and well-being of one’s own country as part of the entire region and the whole of Europe!”

Furthermore, the Secretary General and VEF founder Dr. Elena Kirtcheva paraphrased the world-famous words of former US President Kennedy from 1961: “In deep conviction that the VEF mission obliges us all, we do not ask what Austria and Vienna can do for Vienna Economic Forum and the VEF member countries, we want to do more and more for the state of Austria and the city of Vienna! In order to fulfil this mission, and to position our VEF region, the region "From the Adriatic Sea to the Black Sea" - from Vienna - even better on the European and world map, to not only to make this region more visible, but in order to support its native role in the enforcement of the economic, European and universal human values, we want to transform Vienna Economic Forum into a real international organization based in Vienna. Where there's a will, there's a way!” emphasized the Secretary General.
The hostess, Prof. Mag. Tauchhammer, invited the present Ambassadors, members of the Ambassadors Committee of Vienna Economic Forum, the Chargés d'affaires and Diplomats of the Embassies, the Members of the VEF Board and the Members of the VEF honorary committee to the traditional Family photo:

• H.E. Mr. Kemal KOZARIĆ – Bosnia and Herzegovina 
• Charge d‘Affaires a.i. Ms. Victoria Scolnic - Moldova 
• Charge d‘Affaires a.i. Ms. Marija Lakic Barfus – Montenegro 
• H.E. Mr. Osvit ROSOKLIJA – North Macedonia 
• H.E. Mr. Emilian HUREZEANU – Romania 
• Mr. Mag. Matjaz MARKO, Gesandter / Wirtschaftsrat- Slovenia 
• Mr. Alattin Temur, First Counselor- Türkiye

Members of the VEF Board:
- Mag. Peter Höfinger – Member of the Board Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) and VEF – Vice President 
- Mr. Wilbert Verheijen- Managing Director, Canon CEE GmbH
- Mr. Emmanuel Forest- Former CEO, BOUYGUES EUROPE SA; Brussels

Member of the Honorary Committee of Vienna Economic Forum:
Dr. Franz Kosyna
Amb. Prof. Dr. Vasilka Poposka Trenevska
Dr. Ernst Huber
Mr. Ludwig Nießen
The VEF Board member Emmanuel Forest that flew from Paris especially for this occasion, in the honour of the VEF Member country Ukraine sang two ukranian songs. 
The many guests were indulged by the Embassies with country-specific and traditional culinary delicacies.
The diverse artistic program, with performances from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova and North Macedonia, was enjoyed by the guests very much - the folk dances of the region encouraged many to dance along.
The good mood, the culinary delicacies, the musical entertainment and the unique atmosphere of the paradise-garden of the Villa Flora have, especially in the difficult time of a war on the old continent in the 21st century, again proven how much the people of the region from the Adriatic to the Black Sea have in common and how much everyone appreciates universal human values. 

The artistic program can be found here.


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VEF logo



Vienna Economic Talks – Istanbul Meeting 2022

The Vienna Economic TalksIstanbul Meeting 2022 took place on 17 May 2022 at the historical Dolmabahçe Palast in Istanbul.

Vienna Economic Forum is proud to have had co-organised the event together with the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye Investment Office, represented by its President, Mr. Ahmet Burak Dağlıoğlu, Member of the VEF Board.

The high-ranking participants - representatives of regional politics and the global economy - made a significant contribution to the great success of the event. The very lively debates focused on the exciting topic: "Economy as a Driving Force in Difficult and Uncertain Times". As part of the intensive program, Türkiye's economic resilience and economic development through cooperation, including the reconstruction of the VEF member country Ukraine after the war, were discussed.

Vienna Economic Talks – Istanbul Meeting 2022 moderated by Ms. Andrea Sanke, Journalist and Senior Presented for TRT Word News in Istanbul, was opened by Ambassador Dr. Elena Kirtcheva, Member of the Board and Secretary General of Vienna Economic Forum who addressed the long-lasting history and excellent cooperation between VEF and Invest in Turkey from the organizing of the first VEF – Istanbul Meeting in 2007, followed by the Istanbul Meeting in 2011 and the Vienna Economic Forum- Meet Turkey in Vienna in 2012, until the Istanbul Meeting 2022. She further discussed the economic and geopolitical importance of Turkey for the region and its future development.

In his opening statement Mr. Ahment Burak Dağlıoğlu, President of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye Investment Office and Member of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum explained that the same room where the Vienna Economic Talks – Istanbul Meeting 2022 was taking place is the same room where the Ukraine-Russia negotiations on the ongoing war took place and expressed his wish for a prompt positive outcome. Furthermore, he spoke about the very low FDI for the region and highlighted that the main target of the strategy is to increase Türkiye’s share in global FDI market to 1.5 percent as of 2023, by enhancing its performance in terms of quality FDI profiles. He also stressed the importance of increasing the FDI volume to the region.

During his opening, DI Peter Umundum, Member of the Board Parcel and Logistics of the Austrian Post AG and President of Vienna Economic Forum, spoke about new economic era thus accentuating the necessity of the Istanbul Meeting 2022. He spoke about how the economy can transform the world and assist in facing all of the challenges as a driving force in difficult and uncertain times as well as the dire need for enhanced regional cooperation and ongoing connectivity. President Umundum expressed the positive experiences Austrian Post AG has had, especially in view of the good and steady growth of ARAS Kargo in the country and the impressive amount of 2 million parcels delivered per day in 2021. He expressed his view on further potentials for future developments.

During the First Session: “Exploring Türkiye’s Eonomic Resilience in an Age of Opportunities and Challenges” in her Video Impulse Statement Ms. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth spoke about the tremendous potential, talents and opportunities for this region, the fruitful cooperation between EU and Turkey spanning for over 2 decades. Furthermore, she accentuated the many possibilities, open access and opportunities that the EU programmes Horizon Europe and Erasmus Plus offer, drawing the attention to the Green Erasmus offering opportunities in the fight against the climate change.

H.E. Mr. Hekuran Murati, Minister of Finance, Labor and Transfers of Kosovo, opened the question about how to make the economy more resilient, especially in the view of the COVID situation, inflation, energy squeeze thus stressing the necessity for infusion of funds in order to bridge the big gap caused by the current challenges on one hand. On the other, H.E. Minister Murati reported on the Kosovo growth of 10,5% in 2021.

In his statement Mr. Mehmet Kacir, Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology of Türkiye discussed the COVID disruption and the effects on the supply chains, the resilience in this matter, and the production lines moved to Turkey during the situation. There has been over 290 billion US dollars of FDI in the last 20 years in Türkiye. The many start-ups receive steady support by the Government. Türkiye has deep roots and productive ties with the countries from the region, thus accentuating the importance of further, even more active cooperation and relationship.

During the lively and productive discussion led by the Moderator Mr. Auskar Surbakti, Journalist and Senior Presenter for TRT World news in Istanbul, Ms. Barbara Hagen, CFO of ARAS Kargo once again accentuated the great achievements and impressive number of parcels that ARAS Kargo managed to successfully deliver on a daily basis presented as an opportunity by the pandemic, emphasising the 2021 as a record year. Dr. Gabriel Lansky, Partner, LANSKY, GANZGER, GOETH, FRANKL + Partner (LGP), Austria spoke about the great success that they have on local and international level with over 200 lawyers present in over 20 countries in the areas of investment, finance and trade. Dr. Lansky further informed about the new office in Türkiye. Mr. Burak Bilge, CEO of Austria Card Türkiye and President of Türkiye-Austria Business Council at the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Türkiye (DEIK), Strategic Partner of Vienna Economic Forum spoke about the presence of his company in Türkiye since 1996, the smart cards that they produce and digital services that they offer, Dr. Hüseyin Gelis, President and CEO of Siemens Türkiye, elaborated on the long history of Siemens, as well as its role as a platform for growth in Türkiye. He discussed the new issues that the market faces these days, which are not only materials shortage but labour shortage as well. The President of the Marmara Group Foundation and Strategic Partner of Vienna Economic Forum Dr. Akkan Suver highlighted the long-standing collaboration with Vienna Economic Forum and invited to the 25th Eurasian Forum in Istanbul.

At the beginning of the Second Session: “Fostering Economic Development through Local, Regional and International Cooperation” the high-ranking participants had the opportunity to primarily hear the Video Impulse Statement of Dr. Lilyana Pavlova, Vice-President of the European investment Bank (EIB) who talked about fostering economic development through local, regional and international cooperation, accentuated the necessity of acting faster, together and more decisively in order to help the world tackle the ongoing challenges. Vice President Pavlova further elaborated on how the effects of COVID demonstrated the power of European solidarity, thus accentuating the 58 billion Euros allocated by the EIB to help fight the negative economic and social consequences. On a global level, new partnerships, are key to sustainable development, such as Invest EU.

In his Impulse statement Ambassador Dr. Valentin Inzko, former UN High Representative and EU Special Representative (HR/EUSR) for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Honorary Member of Vienna Economic Forum talked about over 60 initiatives currently active in the Western Balkan region, of which some duplicated. He elaborated on the work of the Regional Cooperation Council which replaced CEFTA, the Berlin process and the necessity for the initiatives not only to exist but to be implemented and realized which Ambassador Dr. Inzko believes to be of key importance, further accentuating the need for sense of urgency and halt to the immigration from the Balkans.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Türkiye, Mr. Faruk Kaymakci, started his Keynote statement stressing that Türkiye rejects the war by Russia and supports Ukraine in all its efforts. He spoke about the artificial creation of the phrase Western Balkan meant to discriminate and marginalize Türkiye when we should be talking about South-Eastern Europe. He further accentuated the excellent relationship between Türkiye and the countries from the Western Balkans on both economic and political level, spoke about the accession perspective of Türkiye and the fact that the efforts of both EU and Türkiye to assist the countries form the Balkans should be complementary and enhance each other.
During his participation in the discussion, Mr. Pavle Radovanović, Vice President of the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro, Member of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum indicated the role of the Chambers of Economy in Fostering Economic Development and highlighted the fact that they represent the “voice” of the business community and possess the capacities and knowledge to transform justified requirements into concrete actions. Dr. Nikolay Tsenkov, Manager of the Municipal Guarantee Fund of Sofia Municipality, Bulgaria, Member of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum spoke about the unique form and function of the Municipal Guarantee Fund and its significant role in supporting small and middle enterprises, as well as the importance of cooperation among the institutions, not rivalry. Mr. Erdem Acay, CEO of Coşkunöz Holding Türkiye discussed the supply chains and the ongoing rivalry rather than cooperation, increased interest in the VEF Member countries and the necessity for multiple sources for supplies, not relying on one. Mr. Ali Tahan, Head of International Banking and Investor Relations, Vakifbank Türkiye discussed the huge amount allocated as loans to the small and medium enterprises, support for the Türkiye’s exporters and branches of the Bank in Qatar and USA. Mr. Ufuk Cemal Bali, General Manager and Member of the Board of Intesa Sanpaolo elaborated on the activities of the bank in Türkiye but also in the subsidiaries all over. Intesa Sanpaolo is among the top banks in the country and in Europe. He spoke of two most important aspects of steady and reliable supply chain according to him and in Türkiye and that would be the geographic aspect and the population.

At the end of the Second Session Ambassador Dr. Victor Jackovich, President of Jackovich International LLC, USA and Member of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum provided an exceptional overview of the Vienna Economic Talks – Istanbul meeting 2022 thus summarizing all of the interesting statements, contributions and observations by the many eminent participants and contributors.

Vienna Economic Forum thanks all cooperation partners for their support, A1 Telekom Austria Group, AFRY AF Pöyry, AME International GmbH, CANON CEE GmbH, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Jackovich International LLC, Kelag AG, LANSKY, GANZGER, GOETH, FRANKL + Partner (LGP), Chamber of Economy of Montenegro, MUNICIPAL GUARANTEE FUND FOR SME SOFIA, Novomatic AG, Austrian Post AG, The Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye Investment Office, Raiffeisen Bank International, Serbian Association of Economists, Sopharma PLC, Steiermärkische Bank und Sparkassen AG, Verbund AG, Vienna Insurance Group (VIG), Wien Holding GmbH, as well as the special supporters of the event ARAS Kargo and Ray Sigorta A.S. Vienna Insurance Group.

The program can be found here.


Vienna Economic Talks – Istanbul Meeting 2022


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