Maja Bakran

Deputy Director-General, DG MOVE

The EU-China Connectivity Strategy Initiative

Ms. Maja Bakran has held various positions in the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs between 1996 and 2016. Based in Brussels from 1999 until 2011, she was responsible for horizontal coordination of the Croatian accession negotiations. In 2011, she moved back to Zagreb and was responsible for setting up and management of the system of national coordination of European Affairs. In 2015 she became Assistant Minister for Europe in the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
On 1 December 2016, Ms. Bakran became Deputy Director-General in the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, responsible for coordinating the activities related to investment, innovative and sustainable transport, in support of the Commission President’s priorities.

Paolo Ciccarelli

Head of Unit C5, DG DEVCO

The Role of the Transport Sector in the New EU-Africa Alliance

Paolo Ciccarelli is an Architect who has specialised in development cooperation in the private and public sectors. He has more than 35 years of experience in managing a broad range of infrastructure projects in Europe and Africa. His experience of living and working in Somalia, and in EU Delegations in Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia enable him to work in a multicultural and multidisciplinary environment. Mr. Ciccarelli spent more than 25 years with The European Commission where he gained experience in policy and strategy negotiation in international forums as well as project appraisal and implementation in many sectors, particularly in the urban development, water and transport sectors.
Mr Ciccarelli is now working in DG DEVCO as Head of Unit "Cities, Local Authorities, Digitalisation, Infrastructure" managing a team of about 25 people.

Björn Conrad

CEO & Co-Founder, Sinolytics

Belt and Road: What role for European companies?

Björn Conrad is the CEO and a co-founder of Sinolytics with almost two decades of China experience. He is a recognized expert on China’s industrial and technology policy and geopolitical strategy. Before starting Sinolytics, Mr. Conrad was the Vice President of the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS). Before that, he worked as China Specialist at the World Bank in Washington D.C. and United Nations in Rome, designing and managing projects in almost all provinces of the PRC. He gained consulting experience with the Boston Consulting Group. He holds a degree in Sinology, Economics and Politics from Trier and Peking University as well as a Masters degree from Harvard University.

Paolo Cucino


Sponsor's Address

Paolo Cucino started off at SWS 20 years ago as Geotechnical and Tunneling engineer which brought him to lead large international projects like the Brenner Base Tunnel and the Follo Line project in Norway. Acting as Technical Director of SWS, Mr. Cucino pushed the company's international reputation regarding innovation in Tunneling Tech and Digital Tech. Now as CEO of SWS he leads a smart, enthusiastic and creative team towards the challenges of the 21st century.

Qiuchen Fang

President, CHINCA

The Perspectives for Chinese International Contractors under the BRI

Mr. Fang Qiuchen has worked in the Beijing Wenyang Import and Export Company and the then Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation for decades and served as the Vice Mayor of the Botou City of Hebei Province, responsible for the social commodities circulation. He has served successively as the Researcher, Director, Deputy Director General of the Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation, Commercial Counsellor and Deputy Director-General of the Department of American and Oceanian Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) respectively. He has held diplomatic posts in the Chinese Embassies in the Republic of Nigeria, Brunei Darussalam, North Macedonia and Indonesia. Since April 2015, Mr. Fang took the position as the Chairman of China International Contractors Association.

Prof. Enrico Fardella

Professor, Peking University

Workshop Moderator

Dr. Fardella is Tenured Associate Professor at the History Department of Peking University (PKU) and Director of PKU’s Center for Mediterranean Area Studies (CMAS, 北京⼤学地中海 区域研究中⼼). He is Global Fellow at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C., Research Scholar at the Machiavelli Center for Cold War Studies, member of the Academic Committee at Pangoal Institution in Beijing and Fellow of the Science & Technology China Program of the European Commission. Dr. Fardella is also managing editor of OrizzonteCina monthly review focusing on China’s relations with Europe and the greater Mediterranean region.

Prof. Jonathan Holslag

Professor, Free University of Brussels

The Silk Road Trap

Jonathan Holslag teaches international politics at the Free University Brussels. He has published widely about China and Sino-European relations. He also serves as a special advisor to the European Commission's first vice-president and as a reserve officer in the Belgian armed forces.

Enzo Quattrociocche

Secretary-General, EBRD

The EBRD's Perspective on the Belt & Road Initiative

Enzo Quattrociocche is the EBRD’s Secretary General.  He is a member of the Bank’s Executive Committee – together with the President, Vice Presidents, and other senior management representatives.
Mr Quattrociocche has held management positions at the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance – as Division Chief for IFIs and as Director General – and has worked as an official in the Executive Board of the IMF.
In 2015, Enzo Quattrociocche was awarded the highly esteemed honour of the Italian Decoration of “Grande Ufficiale, Order of the Stella d’Italia” bestowed on him by the President of the Italian Republic for his services to the Italian Government over the past 20 years.

Michele Sabatini

Founding Partner, ArbLit

Sponsor's Address

Michele Sabatini is a founding partner of ArbLit – Radicati di Brozolo Sabatini Benedettelli. He mainly focuses on commercial and investment arbitration and international litigation. Mr. Sabatini regularly assists and advises Italian and foreign clients in complex arbitrations on contracts involving private and public parties and different sets of rules. He has acquired a specific experience in construction disputes and in FIDIC contracts and assists clients from the preparation of claims to the Engineer, to adjudication before DABs and arbitration. Mr Sabatini is a member of the Milan Bar and of the New York Bar.

Maria Shaw-Barragan

Director, Lending ACP Countries, Asia & Latin America, EIB

The Perspective of the EIB, as the EU Bank, and Opportunities for European International Contractors

Maria Shaw-Barragan is the Director of the Department in the European Investment Bank (EIB) that handles the lending operations in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific, Asia and Latin America. In these regions, EIB’s finance is focused on development and pro-poor investments with infrastructure as a key enabler for economic growth and opportunities, as well as on support to the private sector (in particular SMEs and micro-entrepreneurs), food security, agro-industries, sustainable energy, water, telecommunications and transport, always aligning with the global external strategy of the European Union.