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ACRE

Baku Summit: Building a Shared Future

8 June-9 June 2018  |  Baku, Azerbaijan

The Baku Summit brings together leaders from politics, business, government, academia and the not-for-profit sector from across Europe and the world, in order to shape the debate on our shared future.   

From keynote speeches to topic-driven panel discussions, The Baku Summit will provide participants with valuable insights into the ideas that are shaping the world. 

OUR THEME – Building a Shared Future – is of global importance and has an impact on every individual, on every society, in every country.  Building a shared future is our collective responsibility, it is the sum of our creativity and knowledge, our talent and experience, our ingenuity and promise.  Building a shared future is essential for boosting productivity, pivotal for economic growth and vital to the resilience of our economies.  The Baku Summit will be an exploration of how connectivity, in all its forms, can be best applied across all aspects of society for the benefit of everyone.   

The programme of this event reflects on major challenges including: 

  • The digital economy; 
  • Economic freedom;
  • Connectivity through transportation;
  • Education transformation;
  • Local Governance;
  • Energy Security 

The event will be held in English and Azerbaijani, with live translation.

ACRE

Baku Summit: Building a Shared Future

Why Baku? Why now?

WHY BAKU

No location could be more fitting for this forum than Azerbaijan and its capital Baku. For centuries, Azerbaijan has been at the crossroads of continents and civilizations, bringing together people from all backgrounds. Just days after Azerbaijan celebrates the centennial of its independence, we are hosting our Summit, bringing together the leaderships of ACRE’s Member Parties – from both inside and outside the EU – as well as high-level representatives from businesses, media and other thought leaders. Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, sits on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Its UNESCO-listed Old City is ringed by burgeoning new skyscrapers yet, barely a few hours’ drive away, timeless rural villages are backed by the soaring Caucasus mountains.

Eclectic architecture – combining historical heritage of the east and west with iconic contemporary buildings – makes Baku one of the most beautiful cities in the world. International hotels, exclusive shopping and excellent restaurants make it an attractive destination. Baku has also firmly established itself as a key city on the world stage. Open and tolerant, it is a global centre for intercultural dialogue and cooperation, regularly bringing together political, cultural and religious leaders from around the world. Baku has hosted landmark international events, such as the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, the first-ever European Games in 2015, the Islamic Solidarity Games and Women’s European Volleyball Championship in 2017. Looking ahead, Baku will host the European Youth Olympic Festival in 2019, and European Karate Championship and European Championship football matches in 2020, and the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which was first staged in 2016 will continue to be organized annually through to 2025.  Hosting The Baku Summit is a natural continuation of Baku’s proven track record in delivering large-scale international events. 

WHY NOW

Azerbaijan, with its rapidly growing economy, has tripled its GDP and reduced poverty and unemployment levels down to 5% in a decade. In 2015, the country won a global South-South Award 2015 for achievements in implementing the UN Millennium Development Goals. Today, Azerbaijan is ranked 35 among 138 economies (number one in the Commonwealth of Independent States) in the World Economic Forum’s 2017-18 Global Competitive Index.  We believe Azerbaijan is now ripe for our free market ideas that can turn the country into a beacon of economic resilience and sustainability across Europe and Asia.  This high-level gathering is being organised by the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists (ACRE) in partnership with our local Member Party in Azerbaijan, the Popular Front Party of the Whole of Azerbaijan. 

ACRE

Baku Summit: Building a Shared Future

LOCATION

Hotel Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers

ACRE

Baku Summit: Building a Shared Future

SPEAKERS

Jan Zahradil MEP

ACRE President, Vice-Chairman, International Trade Committee, European Parliament

web    @ZahradilJan


Jan Zahradil is a Czech politician for the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and the president of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe - ACRE. He has been a Member of the European Parliament since the Czech Republic entered the European Union in 2004. Zahradil also served as Member of Parliament for Prague from 1998 to 2004. In his current third term at the European Parliament, Zahradil is a member of the international trade committee, serving as its Deputy Chairman. He was one of the founding members of the euro-realist ECR group, which went on to become the third largest group in the European Parliament in 2014. In March of 2011 he was elected the ECR President, thus becoming the first Czech MEP ever to have become leader of an EP group.

Jan Zahradil MEP

ACRE President, Vice-Chairman, International Trade Committee, European Parliament

bio    web    @ZahradilJan

Baroness Nosheena Mobarik, MEP

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

@NosheenaMobarik


Baroness Nosheena Mobarik, CBE MEP is a British Conservative politician.  She is the former Chairman of CBI Scotland and has been chairman of the Pakistan Britain Trade & Investment Forum since 2012. Mobarik received her degree in Economic and Social History from the University of Strathclyde and was later given an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. In 1997 she and her husband, Dr. Iqbal Mobarik, set up M Computer Technologies, an IT and business solutions company aimed at retail companies. She was created life peer as Baroness Mobarik, of Mearns in the County of Renfrewshire, in 2014. She has also been awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz by the State of Pakistan in 2012, in recognition of her work in improving Pakistan–Scotland relations. In 2017, it was announced that she would be taking a leave of absence from the Lords, to become an MEP in the European Parliament representing the Scotland constituency.

Baroness Nosheena Mobarik, MEP

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

bio    @NosheenaMobarik

Jorge Quiroga

President of Bolivia (2001-2002),

@tutoquiroga


Jorge Fernando Quiroga Ramírez is the former President of Bolivia, having been previously elected Vice President in 1997, the youngest person to have ever held the office. Mr. Quiroga has also been Bolivian Minister of Finance and Under-Secretary of Public Investment and International Cooperation at the Ministry of Planning.

Born in Cochabamba in 1960, he received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering summa cum laude from Texas A&M University and MBA from St. Edward's University. He is the recipient of the World Leader of Tomorrow Award from the World Economic Forum, and has served as Governor for the World Bank, Andean Development Corporation, International Finance Corporation and the International Monetary Fund.

Jorge Quiroga

President of Bolivia (2001-2002),

bio    @tutoquiroga

Gudrat Hasanguliyev MP

President of the Popular Front Party of Whole Azerbaijan


Gudrat Hasanguliyev was elected as leader of the National Independence Movement in 1993.  He was elected as the chair of Azerbaijan Popular Front Party during the party congress of August 2002. The party was renamed as the Popular Front Party of Whole Azerbaijan during the next founding conference on 3 April 2004. Gudrat Hasanguliyev was elected to the Millis Majlis – Azerbaijani parliament – as an MP on 5 March 2003. He was the presidential candidate by the nomination of PFPWA during presidential election in 2018. He has been a Member of Parliament since 2003.

He is a member of the Azerbaijani delegation at the EuroNest Parliamentary Assembly and Milli Majlis's delegation at NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly. Gudrat Hasanguliyev was re-elected as the chair of PFPWA during the party congress in 2018. He graduated with honours from Law department of Baku State University in 1992.

Gudrat Hasanguliyev MP

President of the Popular Front Party of Whole Azerbaijan

bio    

James Wharton

Former U.K. Government Minister

@jameswhartonuk


James Wharton is a British Conservative Party politician. He served as Minister for International Development, and previously Minister for the Northern Powerhouse. Wharton was the Member of Parliament for his home constituency of Stockton South from 2010 and until the 2017 general election. He studied Law at Durham University, and following his graduation he studied the Legal Practice Course at The College of Law in York and qualified as a solicitor with BHP Law, a firm in the Northeast.

 

James Wharton

Former U.K. Government Minister

bio    @jameswhartonuk

Laurentiu Rebega MEP

Member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, European Parliament

@LaurRebega


Laurențiu Rebega MEP is a Romanian politician and, since 2014, a member of the European Parliament. In the Parliament, Laurentiu Rebega is a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (COMAGRI) as well as the Committee on Petitions. He is also a member of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee. From June 2015 to March 2018 he was the vice-president of the Europe of Nations and Freedom political group. Between 2009 and 2011, Laurențiu Rebega studied Rural and Regional Development Project Management at the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, from where he received his second MA degree.

Laurentiu Rebega MEP

Member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, European Parliament

bio    @LaurRebega

Neva Sadikoglu-Novaky

Secretary General of the ECR Group in the European Committee of the Regions

@NevaSadikoglu


Neva Sadikoglu-Novaky is the Secretary-General of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the EUs political assembly of local and regional representatives (European Committee of the Regions). She helped form the Group in 2013 and has been the Secretary-General since then. She now provides strategic advice and support to the Group’s presidency and manages the work of its secretariat. Previously, she worked in the European Parliament as a policy advisor. Her EU career began in 2010 in the Enlargement Strategy Unit of the European Commission’s former Enlargement Directorate-General.

Neva Sadikoglu-Novaky

Secretary General of the ECR Group in the European Committee of the Regions

bio    @NevaSadikoglu

Professor Hannes Gissurarson

Professor at the University of Iceland

@Hannesgi


Professor Hannes Gissurarson is a professor of political science at the University of Iceland and a frequent commentator on current affairs in the Icelandic media. He is also a published author on liberal and conservative issues. Professor Gissurarson holds a bachelor's degree in history and philosophy and a master's degree in history from the University of Iceland, he then went on to complete a Doctorate in Philosophy for Political sciences studies at Oxford University. Hannes H. Gissurarson was born in 1953 in Reykjavík Iceland.

Professor Hannes Gissurarson

Professor at the University of Iceland

bio    @Hannesgi

Azzan Al Busaidi

DG of Planning & Studies, The Public Authority for Investment Promotion & Export Development


Azzan Al-Busaidi has worked as an economist at several departments relevant to research, investments, and marketing in Oman, and is the CEO of the International Research Foundation in Oman, which is an independent, non-profit think tank. He holds a degree in Economics from Sultan Qaboos University in Oman and an MBA from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

Azzan Al Busaidi

DG of Planning & Studies, The Public Authority for Investment Promotion & Export Development

bio    

Barbara Kappel MEP

Member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

@b_kappel


Barbara Kappel is a member of the European Parliament from Austria. She studied economics at Innsbruck University in Austria before finishing her PhD in economics at the Vienna University of Economics.  Prior to entering politics, she worked as the Head of International Marketing at World Sports Ltd.  Kappel then began working for the Austrian National Council in several positions from 1996-2006 and also served as Vice-President of the Federal Institute of International Education and Technology and as President of Austrian Technologies.   At the European Parliament, she is a member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs; the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy; and part of the Delegation for relations with the United States as well as the Delegation for relations with Southeast Asia and ASEAN.

Barbara Kappel MEP

Member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

bio    @b_kappel

Matteo Bianchi MP

Mayor of Morazzone and Member of Parliament, Italy

@luigi_matteo


Matteo Bianchi is a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies as well as being a Mayor of Morazzone in Italy and a member of the ECR Group in the European Committee of the Regions. His career in politics started at the age of 19 as a Municipal Councillor at the age of 19. In 2009 he was elected Mayor of Morazzone and was re-elected with 77% of the vote in 2014. Bianchi has been a member of the Committee of the Regions since January 2015, a formal body of the European Union that provides consultation to the EU institutions on matters impacting local and regional authorities.  He was appointed Vice-President of ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities) in January 2017.

Matteo Bianchi MP

Mayor of Morazzone and Member of Parliament, Italy

bio    @luigi_matteo

Roger Evans

Political Consultant Specialising in Decentralisation and Democratic Engagement

@TheSpeakingRog


Roger Evans served as the Deputy Mayor of London, working closely with Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson until his retirement in May 2016. He chaired the London Assembly, London’s tier of regional government, as well as serving on the police, transport and budget committees. From 2008 to 2011 he led the eleven strong Conservative Group at City Hall. He was also a member of London’s fire and police authorities. Roger is a member of the Middle Temple, having been called to The Bar in November 1997. He now provides communication coaching for candidates, politicians and senior managers. He has advised on democratic decentralisation projects in Basra, Karak, Madaba and Jerash.

Roger Evans

Political Consultant Specialising in Decentralisation and Democratic Engagement

bio    @TheSpeakingRog

Marina Tauber

Vice-President of Shor party, Mayor of the Commune Jora de Mijloc, and former President of the Moldovan Tennis Federation


Marina Tauber is Vice-President of the Shor party. She has also been Mayor of the Commune Jora de Mijloc since the 21st May 2018, which she won with 61.07% of the votes, and is the former President of the Moldovan National Tennis Federation.

Marina Tauber

Vice-President of Shor party, Mayor of the Commune Jora de Mijloc, and former President of the Moldovan Tennis Federation

bio    

Nikolay Barekov MEP

Founder of the Bulgarian political party Reload BG

@NBarekov


Nikolay Barekov is a Bulgarian journalist, politician, and businessman. Barekov majored in Bulgarian philology, specializing in TV journalism. His career as a radio journalist began in 1992, when he joined the "Kanal Kom" radio in Plovdiv. Between 2003 and 2010, Barekov presented the morning segment on the BTV channel. He subsequently hosted a number of shows on TV7. On 25 January 2014, Barekov founded the Bulgaria without Censorship (now called Reload BG), which participated in the 2014 European elections as part of a coalition bloc with the right-wing IMRO and other smaller parties, earning two seats in the European Parliament.

Nikolay Barekov MEP

Founder of the Bulgarian political party Reload BG

bio    @NBarekov

Sebastian Kęciek

Director, Ministry of National Education, International Cooperation Department, Poland


Sebastian Kęciek is the director of the International Cooperation Department at the Ministry of National Education in Poland. Graduated at Jagiellonian University in International Relations and Jesuit Academy Ignatinum in Political Sciences, both in Kraków.He participated in XI Academy for Young Diplomats organized by the European Academy of Diplomacy. For that diplomatic program, he received the scholarship from Casimir Pulaski Foundation. His research interests include Polish Community Abroad issues and Visegrad Group relations with special regards to internal Hungarian policy.

Sebastian Kęciek

Director, Ministry of National Education, International Cooperation Department, Poland

bio    

Amjad Bashir MEP

Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, European Parliament

@AmjadBashirMEP


Amjad Bashir travelled to the United Kingdom from Pakistan aged just eight years old, to join his father who worked in Wool mills in 1960s Bradford.

Despite speaking little English on his arrival, Amjad went on to study Chemical Engineering at Bradford University, and whilst he initially started out by working in his father’s fabric company, ended up really cutting his teeth in the restaurant trade. He opened his first restaurant in 1979 and over the next thirty five years built up a successful catering business with his sons.

Having started from scratch on more than one occasion, Amjad has always been aware of the difficulties faced by entrepreneurs; there is uncertainty in the best of times and bureaucracy can be both confusing and frustrating.

Since his election to the European Parliament in 2014, Amjad has worked tirelessly on the Employment and Social Affairs committee to support and champion Small and Medium sized businesses across Europe. In particular, he’s committed to reducing burdensome regulation in order to help create a stimulating environment for businesses and start-ups.

He is determined to further the cause for free markets and human rights not only in the UK, but also in Europe and the Arab world and Asia.

Amjad started and run Kebabeesh restaurant at Whetley Lane, Bradford from 1979 till 1987. Later he established another branch of Kebabeesh in New Line, Greegates, Bradford from 1987 till 2009. Meanwhile he established two restaurants named “Zouk” at Leeds Road and Chester Street in Bradford from 2006 till 2013.

From 2014 onwards Amjad has been serving as a Conservative Member of European Parliament for Yorkshire and The Humber.

Amjad Bashir MEP

Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, European Parliament

bio    @AmjadBashirMEP

Sahib Mammadov MP

Deputy Minister of the Economy, Azerbaijan


Sahib Mammadov is Deputy Minister of the Economy. He graduated from Azerbaijan State Economic University in 1989, specialising in Finance and Credit. This enabled him to get his first job working on the TACIS project for the EU. In 2002 he returned to Azerbaijan to work as a specialist in the immigration department, where he stayed for one year before becoming an information officer at the Office of Information and technical support. He stayed here for 1 year but became Chief Advisor at the Ministry of Economic Development in 2004. He worked in the Ministry for 10 years, and in this time managed to be promoted to Head of Department, before being appointed Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry in 2014. However, in 2016 his Ministry was reorganised so his remit focused solely on the Economy. 

Sahib Mammadov MP

Deputy Minister of the Economy, Azerbaijan

bio    

Ogtay Asadov MP

Speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan


Ogtay Sabir oghlu Asadov (born January 3, 1955) is an Azerbaijani politician who has served as the Speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan since 2005. His political career started when he was elected to the National Assembly of Azerbaijan in the 2000 parliamentary elections. He was subsequently re-elected in 2005 from Absheron Rayon and in 2010 from Binagadi district of Baku. On December 2, 2005 he was elected the Speaker of the National Assembly by the members of the parliament and re-elected on November 29, 2010. He is the head of the Azerbaijani delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of CIS and to the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking Countries 

He is also a member of the Political Council of the New Azerbaijan Party. He was granted the Medal of Honor by respective decree of President Ilham Aliyev in 2014.

Ogtay Asadov MP

Speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan

bio    

Nino Goguadze MP

Member of the Parliament, Georgia

@Ngoguadze1


Nino Goguadze is currently First Deputy Chairperson of the Foreign Relations Committee and a member of the legal issues committee at the Parliament of Georgia. Her background in law began at university where she studied jurisprudence at the Georgian Technical University, and then law at Emory University School of Law. She began her work as a lawyer in 2005, before joining the Central Election Commission of Georgia in 2007. She stayed there for 7 years until she was elected into the City Assembly in Tbilisi. She was elected into the Georgian Parliament in 2016 as part of the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia electoral bloc.

Nino Goguadze MP

Member of the Parliament, Georgia

bio    @Ngoguadze1

Iain Dale

Political commentator, blogger, publisher and broadcaster

@IainDale


Iain Campbell Dale is an English political commentator, blogger, publisher, broadcaster and former Conservative candidate. Dale is known for his British political blog Iain Dale's Diary (founded in 2002) and for his frequent appearances on UK news channels. In September 2003. He is currently the managing director of Biteback Publishing, and was the publisher of Total Politics magazine, 2008–12. Since September 2010, he has hosted a regular, major discussion show on London's LBC 97.3 radio station. In July 2013, he won Radio Presenter of the Year at the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards.

Iain Dale

Political commentator, blogger, publisher and broadcaster

bio    @IainDale

Fred McMahon

Resident Fellow, Dr. Michael A. Walker Chair in Economic Freedom, Fraser Institute


Fred McMahon is a Fraser Institute Resident Fellow and holder of the Dr. Michael A. Walker Chair in Economic Freedom. He has an M.A. in Economics from McGill University.  Mr. McMahon manages the Economic Freedom of the World Project and coordinates the Economic Freedom Network, an international alliance of over 100 think tank partners in about 100 nations and territories. His research focuses on global issues such as development, trade, governance and economic structure.

Fred McMahon

Resident Fellow, Dr. Michael A. Walker Chair in Economic Freedom, Fraser Institute

bio    

Visiola Pula

Telecoms regulation and consumer protection analyst at Cullen International


Visiola Pula works as a telecommunications analyst at Cullen International, an independent regulatory intelligence provider covering telecoms, media, digital economy, postal regulation and competition law across Europe, Americas, the Middle East and North Africa. Pula joined Cullen International in 2015 covering Telecoms and Digital Economy regulation in Europe, in particular, in Germany, Ireland and the CEE region. Before joining Cullen, she worked briefly at the Senate Chancellery of Hamburg in European and International Affairs. Visiola holds an LLM in European Law and Studies from the University of Hamburg.

Visiola Pula

Telecoms regulation and consumer protection analyst at Cullen International

bio    

Juraj Droba MP

Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Chairman of the Bratislava Self-governing Region

@JurajDroba


Juraj Droba MP is a Slovakian politician and educator. He has two postgraduate degrees: an MBA from the Faculty of Management of the UK; and an MBA in Political Management from George Washington University, Washington DC. Since 2010 he has been a member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic for the SaS party, of which he is a founding member. At the same time, he is a member of the Foreign Committee of the National Council of the SR and a member of the Special Audit Committee with the National Council of the Slovak Republic for the control of SIS activities. In the elections to the VÚC in 2017 he became Chairman of the Bratislava Self-governing Region.

Juraj Droba MP

Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Chairman of the Bratislava Self-governing Region

bio    @JurajDroba

Shanker Singham

Director of International Trade and Competition Unit, Institute of Economic Affairs

@ShankerASingham


Shanker Singham is the Director of the International Trade and Competition Unit at the Institute of Economic Affairs. He recently joined from the Legatum Institute, where he worked as the Director of Economics and Prosperity Studies and served as Chairman of the Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission. He is the founder of the International Roundtable on Competitiveness and Enterprise Cities Project (“CECP”) (2013), a specialist advisor to the UK House of Commons Committee on International Trade (2017), and a member of the International Advisory Council of the Global Trade Professionals Alliance (2017). He was educated first at St. Paul’s School, London, before going on to receive an M.A in Chemistry from Balliol College, Oxford University. Following that, he took postgraduate legal degrees in both the UK and US at the Guildford College of Law and University of Miami Law School.

Shanker Singham

Director of International Trade and Competition Unit, Institute of Economic Affairs

bio    @ShankerASingham

Professor Gerard Pogorel

Professor of Economics and Management at Telecom ParisTech, international expert in telecommunications and the digital economy


Gérard Pogorel is a Professor of Economics and Management-Emeritus, Telecom ParisTech, France, and an independent international expert in telecommunications and the digital economy. He participates in numerous Government-level regulation Authorities Committees and Scientific Committees on telecom, media policy and regulation in Europe, the USA and Asia. He co-authored, in 2014, a report to the Prime Minister of Italy assessing the investments by operators in NGAN networks in the EU Digital Agenda perspective. He was previously Chair of the European Union Framework Research & Technology Development Programme Monitoring Panel, and Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the EU Information Society and Technologies Research Programme. He is also an “Officier des Palmes Académiques” and holds two doctorates respectively in Economic sciences and Management Sciences.

Professor Gerard Pogorel

Professor of Economics and Management at Telecom ParisTech, international expert in telecommunications and the digital economy

bio    

Tim Dier

Executive Director, Morgan Stanley, Former Chairman of the International Young Democrat Union and the European Young Conservatives.


Tim Dier is currently Executive Director of Morgan Stanley. He has had a long history of political involvement, which culminated in his positions as Chairman of the International Young Democrat Union and the European Young Conservatives.

Tim Dier

Executive Director, Morgan Stanley, Former Chairman of the International Young Democrat Union and the European Young Conservatives.

bio    

Daniele Capezzone

Member of ACRE Board and Director of New Direction Italy

@Capezzone


Daniele Capezzone is an Italian politician and one of the founders of the Italian centre-right movement Direzione Italia, and has been a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies since 2006 until the recent election in March, where he did not seek re-election. Daniele also serves as Vice President of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists. In his political career, he has served as chairman of the Finance Committee (2013-2015) and of the Industry Committee (2006-2007) in the Italian Chamber of Deputies. He has also served as Spokesman for Forza Italia and The People of Freedom. Daniele is a prolific author, having written five books including ‘A radical shock for the XXI century, ‘Euroghost’, ‘Instant democracy’, ‘Against Assange, beyond Assange’ and ‘For the return game - A classical liberal agenda for the Italian centre-right’.

Daniele Capezzone

Member of ACRE Board and Director of New Direction Italy

bio    @Capezzone

Olympios Raptis

Senior Advisor, European Parliament

@OlympiosRaptis


Olympios Raptis serves as chief of staff of Amjad Bashir, a British Conservative Member of the European Parliament. His areas of focus are the promotion of free-market reforms and respect of human rights in Europe and in other parts of the world, in particular the Middle East, North Africa and South & South East Asia. Prior to joining the European Parliament, Raptis has worked since 2004 in the EU policy- making arena for the benefit of the European aeronautics, space and defence industries, with his latest position being Head of the Brussels-based Space Industry Association Office (ASD-EUROSPACE).

Olympios Raptis

Senior Advisor, European Parliament

bio    @OlympiosRaptis

Dr. Nasir Awan DL

Chief Executive Officer, Awan Marketing Plc

@Nasirawanuk


Dr. Nasir Awan DL is the Chief Executive Officer at Awan Marketing Plc; Director of Awan Marketing International Limited; and Director of Awan Property Investments Limited. Nasir started in the retail business in 1978, joining his late father.  In 1980 he set up a consumer electronics wholesale operation, becoming one of the UK’s major distributors. Awan Marketing is now one of the largest wholesalers in the UK. The company is run by the 3rd generation of the family operating from a 45,000 sq ft distribution centre in Hockley, Birmingham. It carries over 30,000 lines, servicing a customer base of over 14,000 throughout the UK and exporting to Europe, Africa and Asia.

Dr. Nasir Awan DL

Chief Executive Officer, Awan Marketing Plc

bio    @Nasirawanuk

Elmar Valiyev

Mayor, Ganja city, Azerbaijan


Elmar Valiyev

Mayor, Ganja city, Azerbaijan

Professor Javanshir Feyziyev

Co-chair of the EU-Azerbaijani Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, Azerbaijan


Professor Javanshir Feyziyev is an independent member of the Milli Majils. He speaks 5 languages fluently, and others at a more basic level. He used this talent to found his own translation centre in 1987. He directed the company for 5 years before becoming a Professor at the Azarbaijan University of Languages. He became a translator for Médecins Sans Frontièresin 1994, and worked there for a year, becoming a marketing agent at PMI in 1995. During his 3 years at PMI Feyziyez was promoted to Field Management Director. He left in 1998 to found Planet Co. LTD, specialising in the importation of fast moving consumer goods. In 2002 he founded two more companies: One based on tourism; the other a joint British-Azeri pharmaceuticals company. He worked full time managing these companies until 2010, when he joined the Milli Majils. He now Co-Chair of the EU-Azerbajain Parliamentary Group; as well as Chairman of the Azerbaijan-UK Parliamentary Friendship Group. 

Professor Javanshir Feyziyev

Co-chair of the EU-Azerbaijani Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, Azerbaijan

bio    

Mohammed Saqub

Partner at Shakespeare Martineau


Mohammed Saqub advises on high value and complex property investment, development and finance transactions with a specialty in Islamic Finance. He has worked with UK government and government agencies to adapt to the requirements of Islamic property transactions and advises investors and banks both in the UK and the Middle East on a range of Sharia compliant structures. He has assembled and leads a team of lawyers that has been recognised, alongside Magic and Silver circle law firms, in a recent UK Government publication titled “UK Excellence in Islamic Finance”. He has also been a lecturer on the Islamic Finance Master’s Degree at Aston University and has taught commercial property on the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law.

Mohammed Saqub

Partner at Shakespeare Martineau

bio    

Simon Elo MP

Founder and Leader of Finnish Parliamentary Party Blue Reform

@Simon_Elo


Simon Elo is a Member of the Finnish Parliament and founder of the Blue Reform Party. He was the leader of the Finns Party youth movement in 2010–2014, before being elected to the Parliament for Uusimaa in 2015 for the Finns Party. On 13 June 2017, Elo and 19 others left the Finns Party parliamentary group to found a new alternative parliamentary group called Blue Reform and was subsequently chosen to lead the group.

Simon Elo MP

Founder and Leader of Finnish Parliamentary Party Blue Reform

bio    @Simon_Elo

Michele Pastore

Senior Manager - Public Affairs, Samsung Electronics


Michele Pastore is a founding member of Samsung Electronics’ public affairs practice in Brussels. 

He is responsible for the business impact analysis of EU policies related to digital economy, trade ,and taxation. He advises Samsung’s business units on products development and regulatory compliance. 

Pastore represents the company in several business organisations and trade associations, and he holds the  positions of Chairman of DIGITALEUROPE Trade Policy Group,  Chairman of APPLiA’s trade Policy Group and BREXIT Task Force, and Samsung delegate to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). 

Before joining Samsung, he held the position of Manager for Public Affairs and Trade Policy at DIGITALEUROPE., while previously he worked for Fleishman-Hillard and at the International Labour Organisation (ILO). 

Michele Pastore

Senior Manager - Public Affairs, Samsung Electronics

bio    

Dr. Firudin Gurbanov

Deputy Minister of Education, Azerbaijan


Dr. Firudin Gurbanov is Deputy Education Minister. He graduated with honor from the Azerbaijan State Institute of National Economy in 1974. While at University he served in army, starting in 1971. In 1975 he left the army to work in the Institute for Economic Research. Having started as an assistant, he was promoted to Senior-Researcher by the time he left in 1982. After this he joined the Moscow Cooperation Institute, eventually becoming Dean. In 1989 he left, and joined the Ministry of Education, starting as an inspector, but working his way up to Head of Department. He was then Head of Department in the Ministry of Science and Education, and after that Head of Department in the ministry of Youth and Sport. His penultimate position was that of Head of Apparatus of Ministry of Culture and Tourism for 2007-2014. Before assuming his current position. 

Dr. Firudin Gurbanov

Deputy Minister of Education, Azerbaijan

bio    

Professor Andrea Giuricin

CEO TRA Consulting

@AndreaGiuricin


Professor Andrea Giuricin is an Italian writer, professor, and transportation sector expert. As the CEO of TRA Consulting, Giuricin uses his expertise to offer solutions to the transportation industry. Alongside this, he has become head of the Studies Office and Strategic Consultant for Nuovo Transporto Viaggiatori (NTV), the first private high-speed rail operator in Europe. He is also an adjunct professor at the University Milano Bicocca and a visiting professor at China Academy Railway Sciences. He is a regular commentator and analyst for publications, such as WSJ, Reuters, Bloomberg, BusinessWeek, RAI, Xinhua, and El Pais. Giuricin obtained a master’s degree with honours at the University Milano-Bicocca and also hold a PhD in economics.

Professor Andrea Giuricin

CEO TRA Consulting

bio    @AndreaGiuricin

Alberto de Sanctis

Political Analyst, UTOPIA

web    


Alberto works as a political analyst at UTOPIA, a Rome-based independent consultancy specialising in Public Affairs, Communications, Legal Affairs and Lobbying, for which he studies and produces assessments of domestic politics and international relations. He is also an editorial board member and Naval Affairs expert at Limes, the Italian review of geopolitics. Limes was founded in 1993 to analyze conflict in specific spaces – from a political, cultural or military perspective – in order to determine the motives and goals of the geopolitical actors involved.

Alberto de Sanctis

Political Analyst, UTOPIA

bio    web    

Ben Houchen

Mayor of the Tees Valley

@BenHouchen


Ben Houchen is the Conservative Mayor of the Tees Valley, elected in the May 2017th mayoral election. Houchen represents the five Tees Valley local authority areas of Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar and Cleveland, Hartlepool and Darlington. He also acts as chairman of the Tees Valley Combined Authority, the body that drives economic growth and job creation in the area.

Houchen started his political career as a Councilor on Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, representing Yarm ward, between 2011 and 2017. In 2012 he stood as the Conservative parliamentary candidate in the Middlesbrough by-election. In the 2014 European Parliament elections, Houchen was the Conservative candidate for the North East region.

Ben Houchen

Mayor of the Tees Valley

bio    @BenHouchen

Naweed Khan

Executive Director, New Direction Foundation


Naweed Khan is the Executive Director of New Direction (ND) (www.europeanreform.org), a Brussels based free-market think tank and publisher established in 2010 by Margaret Thatcher. With offices in Warsaw, Rome and London, ND is the official foundation of the leading Conservative political movement, the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe. Naweed has previously served as Special Advisor at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Special Advisor at the Cabinet Office under Prime Minister David Cameron. He was educated at the University of Cambridge and Peking University.

Naweed Khan

Executive Director, New Direction Foundation

bio    

Elmir Valizadeh

Deputy Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, Azerbaijan


Elmir Velizadeh is Deputy Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies. He studied at the Azerbaijani Oil and Chemistry Institute (now Azerbaijan State Oil Academy) specialising in Automated Management Systems, finishing in 1982. After this, he served in the army for 2 years, before returning to his studies for a further 6 years. As a distinguished graduate, he was recruited straight into the President’s Office as a special adviser. He worked there for 7 years, before becoming Chief of the Centre of Information Resources and Technologies in 1998, and Head of Department in 2005. In 2007 he was appointed Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technologies. His remit was expanded in 2018 to cover transport as well. Velizadeh was awarded the Tereggi (Progress) medal in 2015

Elmir Valizadeh

Deputy Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, Azerbaijan

bio    

Richard Milsom

ACRE Chief Executive


Milsom leads the growth and engagement efforts of the fastest growing European political party, the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe.  He leads ACREs work in reinforcing its presence across Europe, and beyond. He is a seasoned political consultant and expert with extensive experience in government, public policy and strategic communications. Prior to his political work, he was a successful businessman. He holds a university degree from the university of Cambridge.

Richard Milsom

ACRE Chief Executive

bio    

Themistoklis Asthenidis

ACRE Managing Director


Themistoklis Asthenidis

ACRE Managing Director

Jonathan de Leyser

Director of IFT


Jonathan de Leyser is Director of IFT Ltd: a London-based research organisation launched by Boris Johnson and Liam Fox in 2017, which seeks to make the intellectual and moral case for free trade, and to revitalise the UK's post-Brexit trade vision. Prior to this, Jonathan worked for the Conservatives and Reformists in Brussels for 4 years: as a policy researcher in the European Parliament, and then as Deputy Director of the Alliance. He graduated with a First Class MA in Politics & Geography from the University of Edinburgh.

Jonathan de Leyser

Director of IFT

bio    

Ahmed Shiyam MP

Founder, Maldives Development Alliance; Founder and CEO of Sun Travel Group

@Shiyamaldives


Ahmed Shiyam Mohamed MP founded the Maldives Development Alliance in 2012. The party currently has 5/85 MPs and is part of a coalition government with the Progressive Party of Maldives.  He is also the founder and CEO of the Sun Shiyam Group, which specializes in luxury travel packages all over the world.

Ahmed Shiyam MP

Founder, Maldives Development Alliance; Founder and CEO of Sun Travel Group

bio    @Shiyamaldives

Dr. Abdulla Khaleel MP

Secretary-General, Progressive Party of the Maldives

@abkhaleel


DR Abdulla Khaleel MP is Secretary-General of the Progressive Party of the Maldives. He has previously been Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee. He also holds a PHD in public affairs

Dr. Abdulla Khaleel MP

Secretary-General, Progressive Party of the Maldives

bio    @abkhaleel

Elnur Soltanov

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Azerbaijan


Elnur Soltanov

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Azerbaijan

Professor Asif Ahmed

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Health, Aston University


Professor Asif Ahmed is Aston University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Health and a member of the University Executive Board where he leads the formulation and implementation of biomedical strategy for the University. 

He is responsible to the Vice-Chancellor for: overseeing the development and implementation of major new healthcare strategy for the university in line with “Aston 2020”, working closely with the Executive Dean of Life & Health Sciences and the PVC for Research.

Asif is a world-renowned vascular and obstetric biologist. He holds the Chair of Vascular Biology and is a member of the School of Life and Health Science.

Professor Asif Ahmed

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Health, Aston University

bio    

William Shawcross

Writer


 

William Shawcross is a widely renowned writer and broadcaster. His articles have appeared in the Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph, the Washington Post and the Sydney Morning Herald. His books include Dubcek (1970), Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia (1979), The Shah’s Last Ride (1989) and Deliver Us From Evil: Warlords and Peacekeepers in a World of Endless Conflict (2001). In July 2012, William Shawcross was appointed Chairman of the Charity Commission.

William Shawcross was educated at St Aubyns Preparatory School, Rottingdean, Eton College and University College, Oxford. 

William Shawcross

Writer

bio    

Eric Roux

Chair of the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom


Minister of the Church of Scientology, after 25 years in the Church’s clergy, Eric Roux became the president of the Union of Churches of Scientology of France and Vice President of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights.

Eric Roux

Chair of the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom

bio    

Emil Gasimli

Chief of Marketing and Business Development at the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR)


Emil Gasimli is the Chief of Marketing and Business Development at the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). In this capacity, Gasimli is responsible for the coordination of marketing campaigns as well as the business development activities of the company in the Caspian region and beyond. Prior to his current position, he spent 5 years working in different IT consulting companies as well as for BP. His areas of interest include strategy, negotiations, energy security, international affairs, public policy, PR, governance and marketing. Over the years, he has participated in numerous international conferences and events on energy issues.

Gasimli holds a BA in Finance and Accounting from the State Oil Academy in Baku and Georgia State University, USA (2007), a MBA degree from the University of Louisiana (2009) and another MBA degree from the State Economics University in Baku (2010). He has earned a Master Certificate in Project Management from the School of Project Management of ESI International in partnership with George Washington University (2015)

Emil Gasimli

Chief of Marketing and Business Development at the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR)

bio    

Ziyafat Asgarov MP

First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan


Asgarov was elected deputy to the National Assembly of Azerbaijan in 1995 parliamentary elections and subsequently re-elected in 2000 and 2005 elections. From 2000 through 2005 he served as the Deputy Speaker, and from 2005 until 2010, he served as the First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly. Asgarov was again re-elected to the National Assembly from the 76th Lankaran-Astara electoral district in the 2010 parliamentary elections and remains the First Deputy Speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament. Asgarov is also the Chairman of the Defense and Security Committee of the National Assembly and head of the Azerbaijani delegation to NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly.

He holds a PhD in Law and authored several textbooks and dozens of scientific publications.

Ziyafat Asgarov MP

First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan

bio    

Ketevan Mamulashvili

Member of Tbilisi City Assembly

@ketmamulashvili


Ketevan (Keti) Mamulashvili is currently a member of Tbilisi City Municipal Assembly of VI Convocation–Legal Issues and Human Rights Commission, Audit Commission, Gender Equality Council, in the ‘Georgian Dream-Conservatives’ faction. She studied law at the Free University of Tbilisi. After this she worked in the secretariat of the Deputy Chairman of the Georgian Parliament on legal issues. Since 2014 she has been a National Committee Member of Conservative Party of Georgia and chairwoman of Georgian Young Conservatives, and has participated in different projects organized by IRI, NDI, Leadership Institute, NIMD and ‘Open World Leadership Institute’. Keti was a Member of Tbilisi City Municipal Assembly of V Convocation- Legal Issues Commission, Education and Culture Commission. 

2015-2017- she was chairwoman of the European Young Conservatives(EYC) and Council member of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe(ACRE).

Ketevan Mamulashvili

Member of Tbilisi City Assembly

bio    @ketmamulashvili

Iftikhar Awan

CEO, Awan Consulting


Iftikhar Awan

CEO, Awan Consulting

Gani Abaidildinov

General Counsel, Cubism Law

web    


Gani Abaidildinov is a dual-qualified lawyer in Kazakhstan and Russia in the International Department at Cubism Law. He has 17 years of professional legal experience and has worked in London for the past 7 years.

He advises high net worth individuals, private equity and venture capital houses and corporates on M&As and financing matters generally.

His main areas are corporate and commercial transactions involving energy and natural resources, and he has worked on multiple complex cross-border litigation and arbitration cases involving English, Kazakh and Russian law.

Gani Abaidildinov

General Counsel, Cubism Law

bio    web    

ACRE

Baku Summit: Building a Shared Future

AGENDA

08:00-09:00

Registration

09:00-09:10

Opening Video and introduction by Master Of Ceremonies,  Iain Dale

09:10–09:20

Message from the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, delivered by Ali Hasanov, aide to President Aliyev 

09:20-09:30

Keynote Speech by Ziyafat Asgarov, First Deputy Speaker of the Milli Majlis (National Assembly of the Republic of Azerbaijan)

09:30-09:40

Keynote Speech by Gudrat Hasanguliyev MP, Popular Front Party of the Whole of Azerbaijan

09:40-09:50

Keynote Speech by Jan Zahradil MEP, President of ACRE​

09:50-10:00

Family Photo

10:00-10:10

Keynote Speech by Jorge Quiroga, President of Bolivia (2001-2002)

10:10-10:50

Panel Discussion on Energy Security

MODERATOR: James Wharton, former U.K. Government Minister

  • Alberto De Sanctis, Political Analyst, UTOPIA
  • Emil Gasimli, SOCAR Head of Marketing and Business Development Department
  • Roger Evans, Political Consultant Specialising in Decentralisation and Democratic Engagement
  • Gani Abaidildinov, General Counsel, Cubism Law

Energy sustainability is paramount for the functioning of any modern economy. Much of Europe’s energy comes through the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline, meaning Azerbaijan is of great strategic importance, especially considering the aggression of Russia, and the instability of the Middle-East. This panel will discuss both the importance of energy security, and viable options to increase Azerbaijani-European co-operation.

10:50-11:00

Keynote Speech by Sahib Mammadov, Deputy Minister of Economy

11:00-11:40

Panel Discussion on Economic Freedom

MODERATOR: Olympios Raptis, European Parliament

  • Sahib Mammadov, Deputy Minister of Economy
  • Fred McMahon, Resident Fellow at Dr. Michael A. Walker Chair in Economic Freedom, Fraser Institute
  • Shanker Singham, Director of International Trade and Competition Unit, Institute of Economic Affairs
  • Azzan Al Busaidi, DG of Planning & Studies, The Public Authority for Investment Promotion & Export Development

Azerbaijan has, for the past few decades, been evolving into a modern global economy. Modern as it is counting more and more on the capacity for innovation and efficiency of its people, a philosophy that has brought wealth and raised happiness levels all over the nation. Our panel of distinguished experts on market reforms shall discuss current trends and best practices across the world, with particular emphasis in the wider region of Azerbaijan, as well as in Europe and the Middle East.

11:40-12:20

Panel Discussion on Digital Economy

MODERATOR: Daniele Cappezonne,  ACRE Board Member and Director of New Direction Italy

  • Gerard Pogorel, Professor of Economics and Management at Telecom ParisTech
  • Michele Pastore, Senior Manager, Public Affairs, Samsung
  • Visiola Pula, Telecoms and consumer protection analyst, Cullen International
  • Simon Elo MP, Founder and Leader of Finnish Parliamentary Party Blue Reform

Encouraging easy access to technologies of the digital economy renders the access to international platforms, possible where people and organizations devise strategies, interact, communicate and collaborate more efficiently, and more profitably. The government of Azerbaijan has been making successful efforts to attract more entrepreneurs and innovators following its “Declaration on the Digital Economy”. This panel aims to shape the debate for foreign direct investments in the digital economy, by analysing best practices, transferable solutions and successful case studies that could improve Azerbaijani digital footprint.

12:20 -12:30

Keynote Speech by Javanshir Feyziyev, Co-chair of the Parliamentary Cooperation Committee

12:30-13:00

Fireside Chat – Iain Dale interviews six members of the European Parliament on the future of Europe and of the European Union​

MODERATOR: Iain Dale, Political commentator, blogger, publisher and broadcaster

  • Jan Zahradil, Czech Republic
  • Nikolay Barekov, Bulgaria
  • Amjad Bashir, United Kingdom
  • Laurentiu Rebega, Romania
  • Barbara Kappel, Austria
  • Baroness Mobarik, United Kingdom

13:00-14:00

Buffet Lunch

14:00-14:15

Live performance of Azerbaijani music

14:15-14:25

Keynote Speech by Elmir Valizada, Deputy Minister of Transport, Communication and IT

14:25-15:05

Panel Discussion on Transportation and Connectivity

MODERATOR: Tim Dier, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley

  • Elmir Valizadeh, Deputy Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, Azerbaijan
  • Andrea Giuricin, CEO TRA Consulting
  • Nasir Awan DL, Chief Executive Officer, Awan Marketing Plc
  • Ahmed Shiyam MP, Maldives Development Alliance

Turning its back on years of forced isolationism, Azerbaijan is once again at the crossroad of Europe, the Middle-East and Asia. This achievement is owed to international investors and the Azeri government, that have sponsored numerous large-scale infrastructure projects; in the last ten years, Azerbaijan has built more than 6,000 miles of road and 300 bridges. More, however, needs to be done to achieve a truly global integration, and we will discuss the forms of transportation that are of major importance in today’s and tomorrow’s world, as well as the most efficient transport strategies to connect Azerbaijan to the global market.

15:05-15:15

Keynote Speech by Firudin Gurbanov, Deputy Minister of Education

15:15-15:55

Panel Discussion on Education Transformation

MODERATOR: Eric Roux, Chair of the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom

  • Firudin Gurbanov, Deputy Minister of Education, Azerbaijan
  • Sebastian Keciek, Director, Ministry of National Education, International Cooperation Department, Poland
  • Hannes H. Gissurarson, Professor at the University of Iceland
  • Prof. Asif Ahmed, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Health, Aston University

In 2015 President Aliyev announced that “foreign investors are more interested in investing into oil and gas sector, however, we will also invite them to invest in other sectors”. The maximisation of the human capital is aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Quality Education, and that includes equity of access. This panel will discuss the advantages of this transition; as well as the progress that has been made and future possibilities for rebuilding Azerbaijan’s human capital.

15:55-16:10

Coffee break  

16:10-16:50

Panel Discussion on Governance and Localism

MODERATOR: Neva Sadikoglu-Novaky, Secretary General of the ECR Group, European Committee of the Regions

  • Elmar Valiyev, Mayor of the Ganja city, Azerbaijan
  • Juraj Droba MP, Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Chairman of the Bratislava Self-governing Region
  • Matteo Bianchi, Mayor of Morazzone and Member of Parliament, Italy
  • Max Rangeley, Editor, The Cobden Centre

Localism is the idea that in governance, decisions should be taken at the lowest possible level. Local government is one of the cornerstones of Azerbaijan's constitutional system. Under President Aliyev, Azerbaijan has also made strong steps to decentralise including referenda in 2009 and 2016 that voted to increase local governance through the introduction, and then empowerment, of municipalities. This panel will discuss the advantages of local governance and will also look at the kind of local action required by current global issues and challenges.

16:50-17:05

Baku Expo 2025 Video and Presentation by Elnur Sultanov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

17:05-17:15

Closing Address by Richard Milsom, Chief Executive of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists of Europe and Naweed Khan, Executive Director of New Direction 

ACRE

Baku Summit: Building a Shared Future

REGISTRATION

Local Guest

Free

Council Member

225 €

International Guest

350 €

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