Baltic Development Forum


The Baltic Development Forum (BDF) is an independent think tank and high-level network for decision-makers from business, politics, academia and media in the Baltic Sea Region. It was established in 1998 by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark Uffe Ellemann-Jensen.

The BDF defines the Baltic Sea Region as including the Baltic countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, Northern Germany (Hansestadt Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein), Northern Poland (Pomorskie, Warminsko-Mazurskie and Zachodnio-Pomorskie), and Russia’s North-western region including Kaliningrad.

The mission of the BDF is to initiate and facilitate processes to create sustainable growth and a competitive Baltic Sea Region. The BDF also implements regional projects within energy efficiency, investment promotion and regional identity building.

One of the main networking activities is the annual summit which offers a unique forum for regional decision-makers from business, politics, academia and media to discuss about business opportunities and develop new regional strategies.


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  • Maritime ports in the EU-28 handled 3.8 billion tonnes of seaborne goods in 2015.

  • Sea ports in the Netherlands handled close to 600 million tonnes of goods in 2015, while in the United Kingdom the level was close to 500 million tonnes and in Italy and Spain it was also in excess of 400 million tonnes. These four EU Member States collectively handled more than half (52.0 %) of the EU-28’s seaborne freight.

© Eurostat 2017