The sixth Northern Dimension Forum was devoted to interregional cross-border cooperation in the changed reality characterised by political tensions and sluggish economic development. The key message from the Forum participants was that maintaining dialogue and cooperation is essential in this situation.
Speakers of the opening ceremony at the sixth Northern Dimension Forum 2015. Photo: AEB.
The ND Forum was held on March 26, 2015 in St. Petersburg jointly organized by the Northern Dimension Business Council and the Association of European Businesses (AEB). It attracted 250 delegates from business, public sector and civil society.
The Russian and European key note speakers from business and authorities addressed the various challenges in the Northern Dimension area from different perspectives. The companies are struggling with the slower than the global average GDP growth in the ND area as well as the economic turbulence and poor predictability in particular in Russia. Nevertheless, Russia and the EU continue to be important trade partners. There are also common challenges related to the environment and people’s health that need to be addressed together despite political tensions. It was acknowledged that there has been and continues to be a lot of cooperation within the ND area at different levels. The role of the academic community, cultural relations, people to people contacts and business in building mutual understanding was strongly emphasized.
“Today more than ever it is important to maintain dialogue at different levels. At the time when political dialogue is not developing, ties between business and civil society are important. We should not dwell on our problems. The most important thing is to take appropriate and required steps to move forward.”, stated Alexei Mordashov, CEO of Severstal-management and co-chairman of the NDBC.
The Forum included also thematic round table sessions on electricity and energy efficiency, ecology and cleantech, vocational education, transport and logistics, health and pharmaceuticals, and creative industries.
See the official press-release and other materials of the ND Forum at AEB’s website.