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Iohannis at the summit of the Three Seas Initiative :The US economic presence in the region is a true catalyst for co-operation


Romania's President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday welcomed the fact that the summit of the Three Seas Initiative in Slovenia reconfirmed the priorities set in 2018 at the Bucharest summit of the organisation, mentioning that Romania takes part in the initiative's fund through Eximbank.

"The initiative is a platform that supports the economic development of the region, enhancing European convergence and cohesion and enhancing transatlantic relations. I want to welcome the fact that the priorities set at the summit in Bucharest last year have been reconfirmed today. First of all, this is an initiative that seeks to strengthen the competitiveness of our economies by maximising regional interconnectivity. The second objective is to increase real convergence among EU member states, thus contributing to strengthening unity and cohesion within the European Union in order to allow the continuation of European integration policy as a basis for strengthening the European project. (...) Thirdly, the initiative contributes to strengthening transatlantic ties. The US economic presence in the region is a true catalyst for co-operation in the area, it has strategic value, and it is an essential component of the transatlantic partnership," Iohannis told a joint news conference with his counterparts from in Slovenia, Borut Pahor; Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic; Poland, Andrzej Duda, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, organized after a summit of the Three Seas Initiative hosted by Slovenia.

He underscored that the summit and the business forum that were held last year in Bucharest represented the "political and conceptual maturity" of the Initiative of the Three Sea and its "transition to pragmatic developments". He mentioned that back then important instruments were approved for the advancement of the initiative, a list of priority interconnection projects in the areas of transport, energy and digital, a network of regional chambers of commerce, and the creation of the investment fund of the initiative was started.

"Today, we are pleased to see that those tools set up in Bucharest are working. Thus, the progress report on the implementation of the projects from the Bucharest list shows progress with a number of them. The business forum of the initiative continues to be an important component of the summits. The first meeting of the chambers of commerce network in the region was successfully organised on the side-lines of the business forum this year and the investment fund of the initiative became operational. I also want to welcome the fact that my country through Eximbank is part of this effort and I encourage other interested partners to join in," said Iohannis.

The president underscored that the strong participation of Eximbank in the investment fund showed a strong involvement of Romania in the projects of the initiative.

"The progress report shows that things are beginning to move, and this is the most important result of this summit - finding that from the political discussion phase, early in the process, we moved last year in Bucharest to the planning phase; we drew up a concrete list of projects, and this year we have already entered the pragmatic phase of this initiative that is beginning to emerge in various projects to be implemented," Iohannis said, adding that the projects are not short-lived or with some very local impact, but long-term projects with a regional impact.

Iohannis also welcomed the interest of Germany, the European Commission, the European financial institutions in the priority projects of the Three Seas Initiative.

"Today's results confirm the validity of the objectives successfully taken up at the summit in Bucharest, which implementation has been continued by this summit. We must continue this pragmatic action and come up with concrete solutions for the prosperity of our citizens," concluded Iohannis.



Friday, June 7, 2019