Annual Meeting 2022

18th INSME Annual Meeting

“Empowering SMEs: Economic Diversification and Green Growth”

1-2 December 2022
Baku, Azerbaijan

    Co-organised with



The current international context cannot be more complex as we are witnessing generalized inflation, high interest rates, a recession around the corner, the growing damages produced by climate change from floods to drought, the Covid-19 pandemic that is transforming itself and has not yet disappeared, an enduring war in Europe that has ripple effects all over the world, particularly on energy and food prices and supply. The economic trend is clouded with business shutdowns, value chains disruptions, volatility in financial and trading markets which have a negative impact on SMEs, threatening the survival of many viable enterprises and entrepreneurs.

SMEs are a major component of the world economy, accounting for more than half of formal employment globally and contributing on average between 50% and 60% of national GDP in OECD countries, so if we want to recover and the green and digital transformation to succeed, then we have to commit every government in earnest for the full involvement of SMEs in this process and provide full support to facilitate and accelerate a structural change. Empowering SMEs and entrepreneurship is crucial to achieve more inclusive societies and growth.

The mission of INSME is not only to exchange best practice in the implementation of effective policies for
entrepreneurship and SME growth but also to improve the understanding of the drivers of SME productivity and growth and how policies can ensure that SMEs and entrepreneurship strengthen their contributions to quality job creation and inclusive growth. SMEs should also succeed in combining economic growth with environmental and social objectives, as well as contribute to address environmental challenges and social issues throughout social and green innovations.


The INSME Annual Conference aims to:

  • understand the role that innovation can play in promoting green growth
  • uncover the potential of SMEs and entrepreneurship in the face of global crises
  • reflect on how SMEs can cope with energy crises and how governments should intervene
  • network and engage with innovative and forward-looking people in these fields


KOBIA, the Small and Medium Business (SMB) Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan was established in accordance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated December 28, 2017. As a legal entity under the Ministry of Economy, the Agency is authorized to support the development of small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the country by providing them with a number of services and ensuring coordination and regulation of services rendered by government entities to SMBs. The Agency’s mission is to increase the efficiency of small and medium enterprise system regulation, ensure a variety of support mechanisms and entrepreneurs’ smooth access thereto, achieve sustainable SMBs sector development and its increased contribution to the national economy.


JW Absheron Marriott Hotel, 674 Azadliq Square, Baku 1000, Azerbaijan.


N.B. All times indicated in GMT+4, please check your time zone here.

Agenda and speakers are subject to change (*TBC)

1 December

9:00 – 10:00 Registration for INSME’s 18th Annual Meeting
Venue: JW Absheron Marriott Hotel, Sharg Ball Room

10:00 – 11:00 Opening ceremony

  • Demonstration of a short video about investment opportunities
    of Azerbaijan
  • H. E. Mikayil Jabbarov, Minister of Economy, Azerbaijan
  • Sergio Arzeni, President, INSME, Italy
  • Yusif Abdullayev, Director, AZPROMO, Azerbaijan
  • Yves Leterme, President, ToJoy, former Prime Minister, Board of
    Trustees Member of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, Belgium
  • Mammad Musayev, President, National Confederation of
    Entrepreneurs, Azerbaijan
  • Boyko Takov, CEO Agency for SME Promotion, Bulgaria
  • Orkhan Mammadov, Chairman of the Management Board,
    KOBIA, Azerbaijan

MOU Signing Ceremony between WBAF and INSME

MOU Signing Ceremony between KOBIA and BSMEPA

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee-break

11:30 – 12:45 1st Session: Sustainability and energy challenges for SMEs

What are the main obstacles to SMEs’ access to diversified and
sufficient energy sources to fuel their productive activities?
Moreover, SMEs face numerous challenges towards their green
Transition: limited funding, regulatory/institutional constraints,
priorities imbalance, low awareness, lack of expertise and
specialized personnel etc. To fully overcome barriers and unlock
their potential, SMEs will need full support from the public and private
sectors. The panel will discuss these issues by presenting research,
projects and initiatives that shed light on the opportunities to be
grasped and the challenges to be addressed as SMEs are the most
vulnerable victims of high energy prices.

Chair: Hamsa Thota, Founder and President, IBD Inc., USA

Panel discussion with:

  • Boyko Takov, CEO Agency for SME Promotion, Bulgaria
  • Aurora Candel, Director for SME, Ministry of Entrepreneurship and
    Tourism, Romania
  • Kamran Huseynov, Deputy Director of Azerbaijan Renewable Energy
  • Cristian Camisa, President, CONFAPI, Italy (online)
  • Mehman Abbas, Founder, Caspian Group, Azerbaijan

12:45 – 13:00 Family picture

13:00 – 14:15 Networking lunch

14:15 – 15:30 2nd Session: Building SMEs readiness to cope with current and future crisis

The main ongoing global “bundled” crises, the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, are gravely affecting SMEs worldwide. What are the main factors of SME vulnerability to geopolitical and financial shocks, and what can be done to increase their resilience to future crises? While it is essential for SMEs and the wider economy to increase their future readiness, SMEs can thrive only with the necessary supporting infrastructure and regulatory frameworks. In this panel speakers will present potential strategies to ensure SME achieve not only economic survivability but also ensure their full development and exploitation of their potential.

Chair: Roberto Santolamazza, Managing Director, t2i, Italy

Panel discussion with:

  • Carlo De Simone, Institutional Relations, Simest, Italy
  • Agil Samadov, Head of the Risk Management and Economic Analysis
    Department, Entrepreneurship Development Fund, Azerbaijan
  • Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, Executive Director, COMSATS, Pakistan
  • Shahriyar Esmailie, Advisor, KOBIA, Azerbaijan

15:30 – 16:45 3rd Session: Promoting innovation for a green growth

Green growth means fostering economic growth while continuing to provide goods and services in an economically sustainable way. There is a global increasing concern about the future sustainability of economic growth, which requires careful analysis of the main factors at stake to develop strategies and plans that benefit all parties. With innovation being the key driver to advanced business ideas, cutting-edge technologies, and cross-cutting markets and jobs, SMEs are in a great position to push for green innovation. The panel will analyse the specific barriers and solutions to green innovation, notably the prevalence of dominant designs, technologies and systems in energy and transport markets.

Chair: Giovanni Zazzerini, Secretary General, INSME

Panel discussion with:

  • Paola Zerilli, Senior Lecturer, University of York, UK (online)
  • Ali Muqaibal, CEO, Sharakah, Oman
  • Igor Ovcharenko, Consultant, Innovation and Digital Development
    Agency, Azerbaijan
  • Baybars Altuntas, CEO, World Business Angels Investment Forum, Turkey
  • Andrea Di Anselmo, CEO, META group, Italy (online)

16:45 – 18:00 4th Session: Policy responses

This panel will provide insights in the key role that governments and policy makers can play to act on  economic diversification and green growth opportunities, thus shaping up a twin transition for SMEs.

Chair: Jay Mitra, Founder, IEF, and Professor, Essex University Business
School, UK

Panel discussion with:

  • Simona Marzetti, Director, Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy,
  • Zaharina Todorova, Head of International financial institutions and EU
    funds Division, BDB, Bulgaria (online)
  • Rashad Huseynov, Head of Economic Analysis and Analytical
    Information Department, Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms
    and Communication, Azerbaijan
  • Dimitrios Rallis, Deputy Secretary General, BSEC, Türkiye
  • Patrick Meinhardt, Board Member ESD and INSME, former Member of the German Parliament, Berlin, Germany

Closing remarks:

  • Sergio Arzeni, President, INSME
  • Representative of KOBIA

19:00-21:00 Gala Dinner


10:00 – 12:00 General Assembly (Members Only)

Members of the General Assembly are informed about ongoing and future activities, projects and achievements, including the INSME 2021 financial statements and the forecast for 2023. Delegates share updates about their projects and initiatives and new members introduce themselves.

12:00 – 14:00 Cultural tour


Sergio Arzeni 

International Network for SMEs – INSME

Sergio Arzeni is President of the International Network for Small and Medium Enterprises – INSME. Mr. Arzeni is also Senior Advisor of Friends of Europe; Executive Member of the Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics GCEL; Member of the Advisory Board of SRM, the Research Centre on the Mediterranean of Intesa San Paolo Bank, in Naples; Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies (published by Sage Publishing in London, New York and New Delhi). For over 30 years he has been the Director of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) in Paris responsible for SMEs, Local Economic and Employment Development and Tourism.

Yusif Abdullayev
Azpromo, Azerbaijan

In 1999, he entered Baku State University and studied for a bachelor’s degree in international law. He started his professional career between 2004 and 2007, working in sales, insurance, and logistics. From 2007 to 2015, he directed the export department of Azersun Holding. From December 2015 to 1 June 2018, he served as Vice President of AZPROMO; on 1 June 2018, he was assigned to the position of AZPROMO President, and on 8 October 2021, as part of AZPROMO’s reorganization, he was appointed to the position of the Agency’s Executive Director.

Mammad Musayev
National Confederation of Entrepreneurs, Azerbaijan

Mammad Gurbanoglu Musayev was born in 1955 in Gazakh, Azerbaijan. In 1972 he finished secondary school, and in 1976 he graduated from the Institute of National Economy named after D.Bunyadzade with honors. In 1976-1984 he has worked in various senior positions in the office of the State Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan, from 1984 to 1992, he worked asHead of Garadagh Department of State Bank and Operations Department of Agrarian Industry Bank, since 1992 Chairman of the Board of the Republic Joint-Stock Commercial Agrarian Industry Bank,from 2001 to present, he has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors of “Aqrarkredit” Joint-Stock Credit Organization. On his initiative, under the co-founding of the largest agricultural bank of the Republic of Turkey –“Zilaat Bank” and Agrarian Industry Bank, “Azər-Türk Bank” Joint-Stock Commercial Bank was established in 1995.Jointly with one of the largest insurance companies in the Republic of Turkey, “Başak” Insurance Companywas also established by M.Musayev’s proposal. 

Markus Jerger
International Network for Small and Medium Business Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (KOBIA), Azerbaijan

Orkhan Vidadi oglu Mammadov was born in Baku in 1984. In 2005, graduated from International Relations Faculty of Baku State University. In 2005, he completed the Business and Finance programme at Regent’s University in London. In 2009, earned an MBA degree at Odlar Yurdu University in Baku. In 2012, earned a second bachelor’s degree in Finance and Credit at Azerbaijan State University of Economics.  On February 27, 2018, he was appointed Chairman of the Management Board of the Small and Medium Business Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan. He Fluently speaks Azerbaijani, English, Russian and Turkish.

Hamsa Thota
Founder and President
IBD Inc., Georgia, USA

Dr. Hamsa Thota is the founder and president of US based Innovation Business Development (IBD), Inc., a company specializing in product innovation performance improvement. He has 40 years of accomplishments as an inventor, entrepreneur, innovator, and teacher. He trains and consults with organizations to improve new product success rates in the US, China and India. He holds 10 U.S. patents. He co-authored “Key concepts in innovation”, a fundamental reference book for practitioners, students and scholars of innovation. He served as a senior advisor to the U.S. Art of Science Learning (ASL) project. Under his guidance, ASL project teams explored connections among arts-based learning and scientific innovation. Working in Innovation Incubators operating in San Diego, Chicago and Worcester, MA, the project teams developed STEM based novel solutions to pressing civic challenges.

Boyko Takov
CEO Agency for SME Promotion, Bulgaria

Dr. Boyko Takov is Executive Director of The Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency, appointed by an Order of the Minister of Economy, Mr. Emil Karanikolov, dated November 12, 2018. Dr. Takov has a proven executive management track record and over 12 years of experience in business management. He spent four years at The Executive Agency „State Property of the Ministry of Defense“, where he served in various expert positions. From 2008 to 2012 he was CEO and member of the Board of Directors of the Bulgarian subsidiary company of a leading South Korean energy company.He earned his doctorate in Economics, Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technical University in Sofia and his Master’s degree in Marketing and Economics at the University of National and World Economy, Sofia.


Aurora Candel


SME, Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Tourism, Romania

Aurora Elena Candel is the Head of Public Affairs for Business Environment within The Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Tourism, in Romania. In charge with foreign affairs in matter of SMEs and entrepreneurship, she is also a coordinator of implementation of the National Resilience and Recovery Plan and the coordinator of Romania’s accession to OECD. She started her career in public administration, as an advisor for an ex-prime minister, while she was still in high school. She built legal expertise within three central institutions, representing the entities of The International Court of Arbitration. In   sector, she worked as a consultant on public affairs and business matters.  Aurora has an overall experience of 6 years in the management of the board of directors of 5 state owned enterprises in the defence industry. As a highlight of her work for the defence industry, it is to mention the incorporation of three joint ventures between Romanian and foreign companies.


Cristian Camisa


Confapi, Italy

Cristian Camisa is President of Confapi, the Italian Confederation of small and medium-sized industries, the most important Italian organization of small and medium private industries (116.000 industries and 1,2 million employees). He is currently President and CEO of T.T.A. (Tecno Taglio Acciai), a family business founded in 1976, specialized in cutting, trade and processing of sheet metal, special and stainless steels. He has been member of the national board of Confapi since 2012 and in 2020 he became Vice President. He was also President of Confapi Industria Piacenza, the local association of Confapi. Since July 2015 he has been a member of the Central-Northern Italy Advisory Board of Unicredit, one the most important Italian Bank.


Mehman Abbas


Caspian Group, Azerbaijan

Mehman Abbas was born in 1970 in Baku, Azerbaijan. In 1992, he graduated with honors from the faculty of “Public Regulation of National Economy” of the Azerbaijan State Economic University.   During 2011-2014, he was leading strategy management at the Islamic Development Bank Group (international financing and development organisation covering 56 member countries with headquarter in Jeddah, KSA). He was Deputy Chairman and Board Member of the Azerbaijan SME Development Agency (KOBIA) during which he introduced various new initiatives and flagship programs to support MSMEs including SME Development Centres, SME Financing Advisory Platform, SME business support facilities, PPP Development Center etc. Mehman Abbas is currently the founder of Caspian Group Ltd and provides investment advisory and management consultancy both for public and private sector as well as international development organisations


Roberto Santolamazza

Managing Director

t2i, Italy

Roberto Santolamazza holds a Master Course degree in Car Engineering (MBA) and a Master’s degree in Electronic Engineering (Industrial Automation and Robotics) from Padua University, Italy. Prior to joining t2i – trasferimento tecnologico e innovazione as Managing Director, Roberto ha managed an innovation agency, Treviso Tecnologia, and worked for several years in a major consulting firm, Accenture. Previously, he worked for a wide famous Italian Car Manifacturer, Ferrari SpA, and at the European Technical Center of a major Japanese multinational electronics company located in Holland, Omron Corporation, as visiting fellow. He’s Adjunct Professor of Innovation and Development Economics at the Cà Foscari University in Venice.


Carlo de Simone

Institutional Relations

Simest, Italy

Graduated in Economics and Commerce at the University Federico II of Naples, specialising in Corporate Finance at LUISS in Rome. After a brief experience at Arthur Andersen MBA, for twenty-two years I have been dealing with internationalisation tools for Italian companies, first at Mediocredito Centrale and currently at SIMEST SpA as Senior Expert in the External Relation Service


Mohammad Nafees Zakaria

Executive Director

COMASATS, Pakistan

Mohammad Nafees Zakaria is a seasoned civil servant of Pakistan, who joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1988. In his illustrious diplomatic career, he represented Pakistan as its High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (2019-20), and Malaysia (2017-19). He also served at various positions at Pakistan’s foreign missions in UAE, Indonesia, Thailand, the UK and Canada. At the Ministry’s Headquarters in Islamabad he performed the duties as Additional Foreign Secretary/Spokesperson, Director General (South Asia and SAARC), as well as Director General (Europe). Most recently, after his retirement from the Foreign Services of Pakistan, he served as Member of Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) of Pakistan (November 2020 – October 2022).



Shahriyar Esmailie


KOBIA, Azerbaijan

Holds an MBA in Corporate Finance from NYU Stern School of Business, NYC. Currently serving as an Advisor to Small and Medium Business Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (KOBIA) 25 Years’ experience in developing and managing medium and large non-oil sector manufacturing and service-based enterprises in Azerbaijan. Represented and promoted European and US based entities in Azerbaijan. Prior to arriving in Azerbaijan, served for ten years as financial officer for NYC Conserve (nonprofit organization) funded by The US Department of Energy.



Giovanni Zazzerini

Secretary General

INSME, Italy

Giovanni Zazzerini is the Secretary General of INSME – International Network for Small and Medium Enterprises, a legally recognised organisation founded in 2004 by the Ministry of Economic Development and the OECD. Since 2008 he has been working as an expert for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Development Cooperation projects in China and Vietnam. Since 2012 he has been an expert for the European Commission Service offering assistance in the valorisation of research results, the commercialisation of innovation and the development of business plans. Previously, for almost 15 years, he worked as a consultant in the field of innovation, entrepreneurship and internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Perugia. His areas of specialisation are innovation management, entrepreneurship and marketing.



Paola Zerilli 

Senior Lecturer

University of York, UK

Dr Paola Zerilli is a lecturer in the Department. Her expertise is in applied financial econometrics with a focus on energy derivatives. She has direct experience with financial markets as she worked for a number of years as a trader on Italian Treasury bonds at Credit Agricole Indosuez, Milan branch. She is currently Director of the MSc in Financial Engineering and Scientific Coordinator of the XPRESS project (Support for Public Procurements to facilitate the collaboration between SMEs and public sector for the development, and adoption in renewables in regions) funded under the EU Commission H2020 programme.



Ali Muqaibal 


Sharakah, Oman

Ali Muqaibal is an influential Board-Level Leader and current Strategy and Business Development GM at Oman Oil Marketing Company, where he has stepped into the role of aligning the company’s vision and mission to the needs of an international clientele by driving innovative and quality products and services to a global market. Ali’s career success for the past 20 years offers broad experience across retail management, corporate relations, microeconomics and financial operations; team building and leadership, plus international marketing. This diverse exposure to building business strategy has led to his most recent success — an appointment to head GM Strategy with a direct reporting line to the CEO and Board of Directors. Trusted to bring best-in-class long-term investment strategy, business development, financial discipline, and merger and acquisition dud diligence to the role, Ali is ideally positioned to help make wise decisions that will carve a sure path toward greater international presence and continuous growth.



Igor Ovcharenko 


Innovation and Digital Development Agency, Azerbaijan

Igor is a startup enthusiast and tech-savvy professional with over ten years of experience developing startup ecosystems in emerging markets. Igor has extensive knowledge and experience in startup ecosystems building in Central & Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East & North America via his Estonia-based company with offices in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and South Africa.He made angel investments in MyPlace, GreenBin, and seats on the advisory board of 5 other startups



Baybars Altuntas 


World Business Angels Investment Forum, Turkey

 Former Senior Advisor of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) for the Elite Program, Chairman of the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) – an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) chaired by the Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Co-chair of the Washington DC- based Global Business Angels Network (GBAN), President of the Business Angels Association of Turkey (TBAA), the World Entrepreneurship Forum Ambassador to Turkey and the Balkan countries, and President of Deulcom International Inc. Star of the Turkish version of the television show Dragons’ Den / Sharks Tank. Recipient of the European Trade Association of Business Angels (EBAN) award for the Best Individual in Europe Globally Engaging with the Global Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in 2014 (Ireland), 2015 (Netherlands), 2016 (Portugal), 2017 (Spain) and 2018 (Bulgaria). The only entrepreneur to be granted a personal audience with former President Obama at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in Washington DC. Developer of the world-renowned entrepreneurship theory, the Altuntas Start-up Compass Theory, researched by Sheffield University and used in numerous MBA programs.



Andrea Di Anselmo


META Group, Italy

Andrea Di Anselmo is the vice president of META Group an international advisory and investment firm with offices in Italy, Slovenia, Poland, Sweden and Belgium (Brussels).
He is Past President of INSME (the International Network for SMEs), sits in the Board of Directors of META Ventures, the fund management company operating Ingenium Funds, EURADA, the European Association of Regional Development Agencies and of several companies.
Andrea’s most recent professional experience is at international level and concentrates on challenge based innovation, innovation strategies (S3), financial tools and support to “Knowledge Intensive” enterprises and entrepreneurs, exploitation of research results. He has a background as civil engineer and research experience in materials science at the University of Storrs Connecticut (USA).



Jay Mitra

Founder IEF

International Entrepreneurship Forum and Director Innovation and
Entrepreneurship, Essex University Business School, UK

Jay Mitra is Professor of Business Enterprise and Innovation. He is a Visiting Scholar at Luneburg University in Germany and has held Visiting Professorships at the Institute of Management Technology in India, the School of Management, Fudan University in China, at Bologna University, Italy and at Externado University in Colombia. He has acted as a Scientific Adviser to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in Paris.  Prof. Mitra is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the UK and is a board member of INSME (International Network of SMEs) headquartered in Rome. He also leads the International Entrepreneurship Forum (IEF) a unique network and forum for researchers, policy makers and business practitioners working on entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development.  He has written widely on different aspects of entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development, and his latest book is ‘The Business of Innovation’ published by Sage in 2017. He is the editor of the ‘Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies’, also published by Sage, and a member of the board of numerous refereed journals around the world. He has worked with various institutions around the world such as UNCTAD, UNIDO, ASEAN, EU and other government agencies and private sector organisations.



Simona Marzetti


Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy, Italy

Simona Marzetti is in charge of multilateral and bilateral relations at EU and international level, including managing collaboration agreements, Memoranda of Understanding and projects with International Organizations and IP National Offices as regards the promotion, protection and enforcement of industrial property rights. She is the contact point for activities and initiatives with the European Commission, EUIPO, EPO, WIPO. She organizes, in collaboration with international partners, training and information activities targeting SMEs, business intermediaries and IP professionals.



Zaharina Todorova

Head of International financial institutions and EU funds Division,
BDB, Bulgaria

Zaharina Todorova is in charge of the long-term funding and guarantees and international partnerships of Bulgarian development bank. She represents the Bank in various international and EU organizations, among which the European association of public banks; Network of European Financial Institutions; European Long-Lerm Investors Association; European Investment Fund, China – CEEC 17+1 Belt and Road initiative. Zaharina Todorova is experienced in the dialogue with EU institutions, development banking, mandates implementation, financial instruments, state aid and EU policies. She has an MBA degree from IAE, Nantes and graduated with honors from ESFAM, Sofia and a joint program of the University of Sofia and Université Bordeaux IV. Fluent in English and French.



Dimitrios Rallis

Deputy Secretary General

BSEC, Turkey

Dimitrios Rallis was born in Athens, Greece. He graduated from the Law School of the Athens University with distinction. On July 1, 2022 he assumed his duties as Deputy Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization – Permanent International Secretariat in Istanbul. During his professional career, which spans over 40 years, Ambassador Dimitrios Rallis acquired deep knowledge and vast diplomatic experience with emphasis to the promotion of multilateral, regional and international relations. He served in the Greek diplomatic missions in Berlin-GDR, New York (UN), Damascus, Moscow and Brussels (EU). As Ambassador he represented Greece in Nicosia and Berlin. He also served as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Hellenic Cultural Foundation. For over ten years he was actively involved in passing EU legislation regarding economic integration and cooperation in the fields of, inter alia, internal market and development, transport, environmental protection, industry, energy, trade, agriculture, research and culture. As Chairman of the EU Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper I) and, subsequently, as Director General for European Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, he worked for the promotion of stability, good neighborliness and international, European and regional cooperation, especially in the fields of economic integration and development. In his capacity of EU Coreper I Chairman, he headed the Council of the EU in the Conciliation Committee with the European Parliament for the adoption of EU legislation. As head of the Greek delegation, he actively worked for transforming the Black Sea Economic Cooperation into a regional economic organization.



Rashad Huseynov

Head of Economic Analysis and Analytical Information Department, Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication, Azerbaijan


He was born on September 12, 1981 in Ganja, the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Since 2006, he has been teaching “Menagement Economics”, “Microeconomics”, “Development Economics”, “Public Economy”, and “Agricultural Economics and Agrarian Policy” at ADA and Khazar Universities.

In 2016, he worked as the head of the Projects Department of the Center for Anlysis of Economic Reforms and Communication of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Since 2020, he has been working as the head of the Economic Anlysis and Analytical information Department of the Center for Analysis of Economic reforms and Communication of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

He worked as a consultant in projects implemented by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the UN agriculture and Food organization (FAO), the UNDP, the German agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).



Patrick Meinhardt

Board Member and former Member of Parliament ESD and INSME,

Since 2021 he is Member of the Board of Directors, European Association of Self Employed. Since August 2014, Mr. Meinhardt was responsible for Public Affairs, Public Relations, Economics, Cooperation with Associations and Foreign Trade as Head of Politics and Public Relations at the BVMW Federal Office Berlin (Bundesverband mittelständische Wirtschaft Unternehmerverband Deutschland e.V.). In addition, he coordinates the European policy and the Brussels office and strengthens the federal management of the association. From 2005 to 2013 he was a member of the German Bundestag. Here he was spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group for education and the group “Christians in the FDP parliamentary group”.