8th Vienna Economic Forum

The Economy as an Engine of the Regional Development

For the 8th time, President Dr. Erhard Busek and Secretary General Ambassador Dr. Elena Kirtcheva had the great pleasure to welcome in the wonderful location of Palais Niederösterreich around 400 participants from 32 countries throughout the world and from eight international organisations to Vienna Economic Forum.


Vienna Economic Forum, this year granted with the status of International Non-Governmental Organisation, has once again obtained great recognition due to its constantly increasing activities to support the regional economy, its choice of hot topics and its organisation of several Vienna Economic Talks for countries of the region.

Dr. Erhard Busek, Former Vice Chancellor of Austria and President of Vienna Economic Forum, emphasized the opportunities of the EU-Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) and reiterated the necessity of cooperation and harmonization of Southeast European countries in order to develop the long-term projects of the strategy.

In her welcome address, Dr. Elena Kirtcheva underlined the role of the 8th Vienna Economic Forum as a milestone when many states of the region have to face the challenges of a highly difficult and uncertain business environment. In times when European integration is called in question, she is convinced that the willingness of all regional actors to intensify their cooperation for economic development is of the utmost importance. Therefore Vienna Economic Forum has the clear objective to pay close attention to the interests and the potential of economic development in the region of Vienna Economic Forum – extended to the countries along the river Danube and the Black Sea region – and continue to actively work towards those goals. European countries, both EU and non-EU-Members, are more and more being regarded as sub-regions, which enables Vienna Economic Forum to offer new horizons to its members and partners.

When H.E. Mr. Werner Faymann, Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria and Patron of Vienna Economic Forum, opened the Austrian “Mini-Davos” for Southeast European Countries for the third time, he pointed out the importance of cooperation in the region and praised the positive and concrete results that can be achieved during and with the help of Vienna Economic Forum – a tradition he expects to keep up in the coming years.

Dr. Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank International AG and Member of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum, presented in a very insightful manner the consequences of the worldwide economic crisis, the perspectives of the region, and ways of acting to shape the future of Southeast Europe.

In the main statement of the second plenary session, H.E. Reinhold Mitterlehner, Federal Minister of Economy, Family and Youth of Austria, presented ways of developing the region with the help of the EU-Strategy for the Danube Region.

It was an honour for Vienna Economic Forum to welcome H.E. Mr. Nikola Gruevski, President of the Government of the Former Yugsolav Republic of Macedonia and Patron of Vienna Economic Forum, as well as:

H.E. Prof. Dr. Vujica Lazovic, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Montenegro

H.E. Dr. Liliyana Pavlova, Minister for Regional Development of the Republic of Bulgaria

Ms. Andreja Jerina, State Secretary for Development and European Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia

Mr. Domagoj Juricic, State Secretary for Investment of the Republic of Croatia

Ms. Dragijana Radonjic Petrovic, State Secretary for Regional Development and Entrepreneurship Promotion of the Republic of Serbia

Mr. Dorin Dragutanu, Governor of the National Bank of Moldova (NBM), Member of the Governors Committee of Vienna Economic Forum

Mr. Bojidar Danev, President, Industrial Association of the Republic of Bulgaria, Member of the Committee of the President of the Economic Chambers of Vienna Economic Forum

Ms. Daria Krsticevic, Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Croatia

Ms. Daniela Paul, Counsellor in the Foreign Relations Department, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania

Beside our honourable VIP-Guests, Presidents of Government, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers from the Member countries, high ranking representatives from the following international institutions were present:

  • Energy Community Secretariat,
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD),
  • European Investment Bank (EIB),
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC),
  • Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC),
  • Regional Cooperation Council (RCC),
  • World Bank,
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The following partner organisations of Vienna Economic Forum were present:

  • Southeast European CooperativeInitiative (SECI),
  • The Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK),
  • Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM), 
  • EastEuroCo Executive Search Group, Budapest,
  • Federation of Austrian Industries (IV),
  • Business Advisory Council for Southeast Europe (BAC), Thessaloniki,
  • European Center for Environmental Economy (ECEE), Sofia,
  • Organisation for international Economic Relations (OiER)

We are glad to announce that the 9th Vienna Economic Forum will take place on 19 November 2012, in the splendid Palais Niederösterreich, Vienna.

Vienna Economic Awards 2011

“For Contribution to the economic development at a national and regional level in the countries of Vienna Economic Forum” 

In the traditional Annual Award Ceremony, Secretary General Ambassador Dr. Elena Kirtcheva announced the winners of the year 2011:

At a national level and as representative of the Austrian Government:

H.E. Dr. Reinhold Mitterlehner, Federal Minister of Economy, Family and Youth of Austria and co-organizer of the 8th Vienna Economic Forum

At a regional level:

H.E. Dr. Erwin Pröll, Governor of the Province of Lower Austria and long-term partner and supporter of Vienna Economic Forum

Members of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum who have contributed to further economic development for the region by their outstanding commitment:

Dr. Franz Wohlfahrt, Chief Executive Officer, Novomatic AG, Member of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum

Mr. Stefan Szyszkowitz, Member of the Board, EVN AG Member of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum

High Representative of a Member State:

H.E. Mr. Nikola Gruevski, President of the Government of the Fromer Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Patron of Vienna Economic Forum




Stepic - Video

Vienna Economic Forum thanks its partners for their support of our 8th Vienna Economic Forum (in alphabetical order):


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Vienna Economic Talks - Meet Kosovo in Vienna

24-25 Oktober 2011, Vienna

Vienna Economic Forum organized on 24-25 October 2011 a “Special Edition - Meet Kosovo in Vienna” in the ever more popular format of Vienna Economic Talks in cooperation with the government of the Republic of Kosovo.

The first day of this conference was held at Studio 44 of Austrian Lotteries, and the second day at the ceremonial hall of Raiffeisen Zentralbank.

The high level Kosovar delegation under the leadership of Prime Minister and Patron of Vienna Economic Forum H.E. Hashim Thaçi comprised the First Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Behgjet Pacolli, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Industry H.E. Mimoza Kusari-Lila, the Minister of Economic Development H.E. Besim Beqaj as well as the Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning H.E. Dardan Gashi.

Dr. Erhard Busek, President of Vienna Economic Forum, and Amb. Dr. Elena Kirtcheva, Secretary General, had the pleasure to welcome approximately 170 participants from twelve states (Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kosovo, Palestine, Serbia, and Zambia).

The following topics were covered in “Vienna Economic Talks - Meet Kosovo in Vienna”:

  • Business and Investment Climate in Kosovo
  • Investment Opportunities in Kosovo - Know-How for a Better Climate
  • Experiences of Foreign Investors and Organisations in Kosovo

A great number of companies such as Raiffeisen Bank International AG,Siemens AG, Uniqa Versicherungen AG, Vienna Insurance Group, Ame International GmbH, Hulla&Co Human Dynamics, smart technologies, Faa Holding, Fertgas GmbH, which are already operating successfully in Kosovo, participated in this conference.

Kosovo is characterised by its young, educated and motivated population. Attractive labour costs, the Euro as the official currency as well as free access to the markets of the EU and USA are the prerequisites for an increased interest to further invest in Kosovo.

Interesting Statements and discussions about the reform of the legal system and its adjustment to EU legislation, low taxation and the government’s efforts to facilitate foreign direct investment, led to numerous contacts and business of pragmatic character, to which all participants contributed actively.

Vienna Economic Forum would like to thank all its members for the active participation at “Vienna Economic Talks - Meet Kosovo in Vienna”, especially Ame International GmbH, Casinos Austria AG, Österreichische Lotterien GmbH, Raiffeisen Bank International AG.




Partners of Vienna Economic Talks - Meet Kosovo in Vienna:


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Vienna Economic Talks - Instanbul Meeting

22-23 Mai 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey
With support of Enerjisa Group, Turkey  

Vienna Economic Forum is happy to inform our members and partners that on 22-23 May already for the second time Vienna Economic Talks - Istanbul Meeting was organized. The event was supported by Enerjisa Group, Turkey, Joint Venture of Verbund.

The high-ranking delegation of Vienna Economic Forum was led by President Dr. Erhard Busek, Secretary General Amb. Dr. Elena KirtchevaDkfm. Karl Fink, Vice-President of Vienna Economic Forum, General Manager, Vienna Insurance Group and DI Gunter Kappacher, Director of the Board, Siemens AG Austria, Member of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum, and consistet of about 20 participants from Austria who together with the other participants from 14 countries of the region contributed to the highly qualitative meeting.

Topics of Vienna Economic Talks - Istanbul Meeting were

  • The Economy as an Engine for the Development of the Austrian-Turkish Relations
  • The Economy as an Engine for Development of Cooperation in different Sectors in the Countries from the Region of Vienna Economic Forum
  • Turkish and CEE Energy 2023 – Building Bridges for Regional and Local Needs

Energy is an important topic for the Austrian-Turkish relations and several Austrian companies, members of Vienna Economic Forum, have been active in this area in Turkey: Siemens AG AustriaVerbund and its subsidiary Enerjisa GroupOMV AGEVN AG. Furthermore Vienna Insurance Group with its subsidiary Ray Sigorta A.S. and Freshfields Bruckhaus-Deringer LLP, represented byDr. Willibald Plesser, who could also report about his long experience in Turkey.

Numerous other international partners of Vienna Economic Forum, with whom there is a Memorandum of Understanding gibt, were represented: Prof.Dr. Sedefhan Öguz - Marmara Group, F. Sadi Gücüm, Cafer Sait Okray and Nurlu Esemenli, ADBA, Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK), Prof. Dr. Vlavianos Arvanitis - Biopolitics International, Athens.

The representative of the Kosovo Minister of Economic Development Mr. Herr Frymezim Isufaj pointed out that the participation of so many distinguished leaders will strengthen international cooperation in all spheres of economic growth and promote a sustainable global development in the region.

Vienna Economic Forum thanks especially H.E. Dr. Heidemaria Gürer, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria in Turkey, and General Consul Dr. Paul Jenewein for their hospitality, to organize the First Festive Plenary Session in the location of the Austrian Consulate in Istanbul, Palais Yeniköy.

Vienna Economic Talks – Istanbul Meeting was a timely and thought provoking initiative, stimulating new ideas and strategies and Vienna Economic Forum is looking forward to a continuation of the exchange of experience next year in Vienna. Together with DEIK (Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey) Vienna Economic Forum plans the next step - „Vienna Economic Talks – Meet Turkey in Vienna“ in April 2012, which will concentrate on Turkey and its important role for the economic and regional cooperation.

Vienna Economic Forum thanks the sponsors of Vienna Economic Talks - Istanbul Meeting:

Media partners:



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