Latvia, preparing for the rotating chairmanship of the 3Seas Initiative (3SI) in 2022, defined the development directions it wants to emphasize this past year. In addition to fundamental issues like renewable energy development, Latvia intends to engage more strongly in economic cooperation on specific infrastructure and transport projects such as Via Baltica and Rail Baltica.
These two topics are at the top of the agenda of the 3SI country leaders during the VII Initiative summit in June 2022. However, apart from these two points, there is also a third theme to be addressed: broad cooperation on digital transformation. This includes collaboration on cyber security, which is even more urgent in the current geopolitical situation. The 3SI countries foresee a significant increase in cyberattacks in the coming years.
Expanding digital infrastructure in the region
“There has already been a lot of investment in this area over the last 10-15 years. But we must not rest on our laurels and instead increase our investment in, for example, the expansion of the infrastructure needed for 5G networks. There is a huge potential there,” explained Artūrs Toms Plešs, Latvian Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, at the “3SI Digital Civil Society Forum” meeting organized by “Visegrad Insight” in cooperation with Meta. The Minister also drew attention to the need to increase investment in the digital economy as a whole and to increase the number of digital connections between the countries of the 3SI.
The 3SI Digital Highway is a broad term covering all digital sector investments. It is a cornerstone of the 3 Seas Initiative geared toward strengthening digital infrastructure to bridge the technological and infrastructural gap between the East and the West and connect the region with modern optical fibers to the main telecommunication networks of the world. The project will last two years and has a price tag of USD 2 bln. It is difficult to say whether this plan will be successful in time. Still, we can observe a definite acceleration of activities and investments in the digital area in the 3SI region.