The huge prospects of the ports of the Balkans and the role they can play towards the economic development of the states of the wider region dominated the talks in a panel held during the Greek House Davos Conference, as part of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Kiril Petkov, former Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Asen Vasilev, Bulgarian Finance Minister and Yannis Charalambakis, CEO, Black Summit Financial Group, participated in the panel and underlined the historical development of the ports of Greece and Bulgaria, but also of wider the area as transport hubs.
More specifically, the former Prime Minister of Bulgaria referred to the policies towards upgrading the role of the ports.
The Bulgarian Finance Minister stressed, among other things, the decisive role of logistics and supply chain management in general, pointing out that solving issues in this sector could contribute to the increase of the GDP in the region by 4%-5%.
On his part, Charalambakis underlined that special emphasis should be placed on ports, as they control trade, support the national security of states, constitute energy hubs and food security hubs. Charalambakis estimated that in the coming years there will be a major crisis in the food sector and for this reason it is necessary to be prepared to deal with this crisis. “Ports will play an important role in this effort,” he added.
During the discussion, reference was made to ways and specific initiatives that are underway or must be undertaken by the governments of the Balkan states, which will change the ports of the region “from simple ports to strategic transport hubs”, while at the same time contributing to economic growth. Emphasis was also placed on the development of the road axes, but also the railway network of the countries of the region, as well as the infrastructure in general, with reference to specific projects in this direction.
They all agreed upon the importance of the works in progress, especially amid the current geopolitical challenges, that will lead to a new era to the benefit of all citizens.