About Us

Baltic Development Forum (BDF) is a think-tank and network for high-level decision makers from business, politics, academia and media in the Baltic Sea Region. BDF is the platform that brings together actors across sectors, borders, regions, and levels of decision-making to facilitate collaboration, develop regional policy, and advance growth and competitiveness in the Baltic Sea Region.

Baltic Development Forum follows the principles for ‘good foundation governance’ outlined by the Danish Business Authority.


Make the Baltic Sea Region one of the most dynamic, innovative and competitive growth centers in the world.


Advance growth and competitiveness in the Baltic Sea Region through public-private partnerships between business, government and academia.


Baltic Development Forum was founded in 1998 by the former Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, still serving as Honorary Chairman. Baltic Development Forum was established in light of a perceived need for a platform for the development of the Baltic Sea Region which gathered not only stakeholders from politics, but also from business, academia and media.

The BDF Summits, organised annually since 1999 in cities around the Baltic Sea, serve as the primary meeting place for regional coordination and policy development for Baltic Sea Region affairs. Other BDF flagship products include the annual State of the Region Report which is a key factor in BDFs increasing recognition as a regional think-tank.

After 20 years working across the region the BDF secretariat was closed in July 2018.

The Baltic Sea Region

The Baltic Sea Region is comprised of 11 nations and more than 100 million inhabitants. Baltic Development Forum’s definition of the Baltic Sea Region countries include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Poland, and Russia’s Northwestern region including Kaliningrad.

The region features stable democracies, institutional structures favorable to business, proximity of markets, good infrastructure, high levels of education, strong industrial traditions and a shared history of political co-operation as well as trade. The framework for cooperation was further strengthened in 2009 with the launch of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region – EU’s first macro-regional strategy. Combined, this creates a unique opportunity to establish the Baltic Sea Region as one of the leading growth centres in the world.