In the beginning of September in China have undergone summits ICS (International Cooperation Summit) and GOS (Global Outsourcing Summit) debating the issue of global international cooperation in crisis, as well as policy cooperation on the optimal distribution of global resources. Invitation to participate in ICS and GOS summits has received "The Baltic Forum", whose delegation consisting of three persons represented the interests of Latvia. The delegation was represented by Deputy of Latvian Parliament Sergejs Mirskis, Economic Adviser of "The Baltic Forum" Sergejs Potapkins and Expert on Logistics Maksims Zabavnikovs. The delegation attended summits with two speeches on the economic situation in Latvia and opportunities of opening up new production, transit and logistics enterprises.
In the beginning of September in China have undergone summits ICS (International Cooperation Summit) and GOS (Global Outsourcing Summit) debating the issue of global international cooperation in crisis, as well as policy cooperation on the optimal distribution of global resources. The Chairman of summits Dominique de Villepin, the former French Prime Minister have opened these summits. Speeches also were made by leaders of lists of Fortune 500, Forbes Global 2000, as well as world political leaders.
The international nature of the Forum had ensured the widespread presence of delegations representing the Asia-Pacific region, which includes Australia, America and Africa. Most companies are active in the market and occupying leading positions, are dealing with entering to EU, Russia and CIS markets, as new markets for its products and investment.
Specific result of the Latvian delegation on summits became the agreement on the preparation of two trade missions of Australia, which will take place in late November, present and in February next year, as well as the organization of meeting in Riga between Latvian entrepreneurs with Member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce William Thomas Sheridan already at the end of this month. Besides for the next Baltic Forum session in 2010 Doctor of Economics, Managing Director of Hampton Court Investment Bank Mr. Marcus Lee was invited to attend.
During the summits also some meetings with leaders of several chineese provinces were organized where discussions on cooperation between The Republic of Latvia and The Republic of China have been proceeded.
On May 29, 2009, the Baltic Forum held its annual conference. This year's conference, titled Global Crisis - National Responses. In the conference participated Igor YURGENS - Chairman of the Board of Institute of Contemporary Development in Russia and Member of the Board of the Baltic Forum; Robert NURICK - Senior Fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, USA; Alan RILEY - Professor of Law, City Law School, City University, London; The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels and Alexander RAHR - Program director of the Körber-Center for Russia and CIS affairs in German Council on Foreign Relations.
The current global economic crisis has created serious challenges both big and small countries. On the one hand, it puts particular responsibility on the national governments; yet, on the other hand, it raises the importance of regional, as well as global, cooperation to deal with the consequences the economic downturn. The shared economic challenges call for a more constructive dialogue on numerous political issues on the European and global scale. The purpose of the conference is to stimulate such dialogue. Based on more than a decade's experience and after consultation with our friends and partners, the organizers have decided to offer an open conference agenda within the framework of the main theme.
Other reports are available in Russian here.
On February 19, 2009, the Baltic Forum, together with the Representation of the European Commission in Latvia and policy centre EuroCivitas, held a round-table discussion on the state of EU-Russia relations. The main conclusion to be drawn from the discussion is that the EU-Russia relations can and should develop despite the obvious differences and obstacles.
2008 was a turbulent year for EU-Russia relations. The Georgia crisis and, later on, the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine, have made clear the limitations of the technocratic, business-as-usual approach, while showing the importance of the EU's role in the world.
To stimulate the expert discussion on this issue, on February 19, the Baltic Forum, together with the Representation of the European Commission in Latvia and policy centre EuroCivitas, held a round-table discussion on the state of EU-Russia relations. Senior Fellow for Russia and Eurasia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London) Oksana Antonenko, Head of the Department on European Political Studies at the Centre for European Integration, Institute for World Economy and International Relations (Moscow) Nadezhda Arbatova, Senior Research Fellow at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs Dzintra Bungs, Director of the EU-Russia Centre (Brussels) Fraser Cameron, Director of the Institute of Strategic Studies and Analysis (Moscow) Sergey Oznobischev, Director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs Andris Sprūds, Senior Fellow at the Danish Institute for International Studies Fabrizio Tassinari, representative of the DG Relax, the EU Commission, Michael Webb and others were asked to express opinions on the issues related to the future of the EU-Russia relations.
The main conclusion to be drawn from the discussion is that the EU-Russia relations can and should develop despite the obvious differences and obstacles. An new and more effective treaty; a realistic approach to disagreements; focusing on win-win areas and projects where success would be achievable and perceptible; strengthening dialogue and contacts - these are some of the keys to a more effective EU-Russia relationship in the coming years. In the following, the opinions and recommendations put forward by the experts are presented in more detail. Some of the ideas and judgements referred to below reflect a consensual opinion of the discussion participants; some are based on individual opinions.
10.00 - 11.00 Registration, Morning Coffee
11.00 - 11.15 Opening remarks
11.15 - 12.30 Plenary Session One
12.30 - 12.45 Coffee break
12.45 - 14.00 Plenary Session Two
15.00-16.30 Concluding discussion: policy recommendations
The Baltic Forum, with the support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, has published Dmitri Trenin's book Getting Russia Right in Latvian. The original English edition of the book has received wide recognition as an outstanding analysis of Russia's domestic development and foreign policy.