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Meeting of the Heads of EU Investment Agencies took place today in Sofia
 
June 20, 2018

Meeting of the Heads of Investment Agencies titled “Investment Agencies: The Soviet of Innovative Europe” took place today in the National Palace of Culture. The event was organised by the Bulgarian Investment Agency within the Bulgarian European Presidency.

Deputy Minister of Economy Lazepar Borisov, Deputy Executive Director of the Bulgarian Investment Agency, Madjide Ahmedova and Boschan Scalar, Managing Director of WAIPA opened the event. The conference focuses on the future of European policy to attract investment aimed at further developing innovation, part of the overall objectives and key priorities for the new EU industrial strategy. Representatives from the Member States of the European Union, the Western Balkans, Turkey and the World Organization of the WAIPA Investment Agencies are involved in the forum.

“The triple Presidency Estonia-Bulgaria-Austria identifies investment in research, innovation and human capital as key priority areas to promote employment and growth, especially in the context of the digitization of economies,” Deputy Minister Lazezar Borisov said. He added that innovation has pledged the growth potential of the economy as they have a strong impact on the macroeconomic environment and contribute to economic growth.

During the first session, participants had the opportunity to submit their previous experience and planned actions to introduce more innovation in production, digitization of industry, and to introduce sustainable innovation to ensure the future benefits of European industry in an increasingly competitive global economic environment. Prof. Stefaan Schepers, the Secretar - General of the High Level Group on Innovation Policy, presented to the participants the theme of “knowledge of the Innovation Union's strategic objectives”.

In the second session, “European practices and models for financing and promoting innovation” was presented by Prof. Nikola Redi, a venturer in Venture Factory. Participants discussed the possibilities of national agencies to search for new practices for attracting investments aimed at the rapid development and uptake of innovation in practice.

The discussion panel “Innovation and prospects for them at European and international level” focused on the human factor in the development of innovation. Participants discussed issues related to ensuring a good educational process, the challenges faced by young people and their opportunities for leadership in technological developments and the implementation of their achievements in the economy.

Deputy Minister Borisov stressed that, against the background of global trends and challenges, it has been concluded that investment agencies can play a key role in promoting investment and innovation, high-tech industries and services. It will thus create a potential for the formation of higher added-value levels, productivity, in order to accelerate economic growth and social development. “We are not competitors, but partners in attracting investment and, in this way, we can achieve synergies that will ensure the achievement of the common objectives of the European Union”, an additional economic, a minister.

Priority was given to integrating Western Balkans and the need to connect financial, social, technical and commercial infrastructures to ensure the attraction of virological investments and develop the region.

“The topics of the agenda that we set out as priorities for this event relate to the challenges facing us responsible for promoting investment in the context of the hard development of innovation, entrepreneurship and the implementation of new technologies in production processes,” Madjide Ahmedova stressed, Deputy Executive Director of the Bulgarian Investment Agency.

A working lunch took place on the agenda, during which the challenges and opportunities for investment in innovation in Europe were discussed. The aim of a discussion on the future, comprehensive and long-term industrial policy is to pay particular attention to innovation as a fundamental factor and a driving force for the development of the European Union's industrial base.

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