About The Forum

The 2014 Brown Forum - "The Future of Energy in Southeast Europe" - will bring together government, industry and academic experts from Europe and the United States to discuss energy trends in the region and propose policy solutions that lead to energy optimization.


In April 1996, Secretary of Commerce Ronald H. Brown led a trade mission to Southeast Europe to promote democracy and trade in a region just emerging from a period of war. Because he believed that the path to sustainable democracy and peace in the region would be greatly smoothed by increasing international trade and investment, he wanted to personally bring leaders of U.S. firms to meet the local business and government leaders who would guide the economic futures of the new states. Tragically, Secretary Brown and 34 others perished when their plane crashed on approach to the Dubrovnik Airport before they could complete their mission.

In April 2011, the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb, the Government of Croatia, the Croatian President’s Office and the Croatian Employers’ Association, organized “The Brown Forum: U.S. and Southeast European Trade and Investment.”  The 2011 Brown Forum provided a unique opportunity for over 200 government and business leaders from seven countries in the Southeast European region and the United States to come together for a wide-ranging dialogue about improving the attractiveness of Southeast Europe as a destination for foreign investment and trade. With over 60 U.S. businesses and over 80 regional businesses represented at the Forum, the event also promoted direct business to business contact to explore partnership and investment opportunities.

In April 2012, “The Brown Forum – Economic Opportunities at the Municipal Level” was held in Opatija, Croatia.  Municipal and local government as well as business leaders from Southeast Europe and the United States gathered to discuss how local entities can promote economic growth, provide support to local businesses and market a municipality’s resources and benefits to potential investors.  The forum also created yet another opportunity for U.S. business and businesses from the region to directly connect and explore possible cooperation. 

In April 2013, "The Brown Forum - Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital: Deepening Ties Between U.S. Firms and Entrepreneurs in Southeast Europe" took place in Zadar, Croatia. The Forum's goals were to identify best practices to focus government leaders on the great economic potential in supporting entrepreneurs, educate regional entrepreneurs on how to best engage in potential investors, encourage regional venture capital funds and, create opportunities for U.S. businesses to identify and invest in regional entrepreneurial projects with great potential for return.