Google is excited about the Three Seas region, as it believes it has enormous economic potential, especially with regard to digitization, said Google Vice-President Karan Bhatia in an interview with Polish news outlet 300gospodarka. He also claims that his company is ready to explore new means for supporting the Three Seas Initiative to increase the region’s integration into the wider transatlantic geopolitical dimension.
At the Riga summit of the Three Seas Initiative, the executive also emphasized that Google was doubling its presence in Poland at a time when the country was under pressure due to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
“Yes, we are continuing our investment process in Poland because it is the right business decision. Today, we employ over a thousand in the country, but our investment in office space will enable us to employ up to 2,500,” he said.
He admitted that in a wider context, there are fears in the global community regarding investing in Central and Eastern Europe because the degree of geopolitical uncertainty has increased. This is why he felt it was necessary to not only continue investing but to widely publicize the fact that Google is doubling its efforts and presence in the country despite the war.
Bhatia said he felt that the essence of the Three Seas Initiative lay in improving communications and creating a platform for the entire region to find its voice. Bhatia believes Three Seas countries have even more in common with transatlantic values than many other parts of Europe.
The Google senior executive emphasized that the United States was a key partner of the initiative, which has from the outset focused on economic and business objectives. He said this is what differentiates it from the Visegrad Group, which has a more diplomatic focus. However, he saw no conflict between the two.
Bhatia called Poland the clear leader of the Three Sea Seas Initiative, given Poland’s size, scale and traditions. However, he said that the Three Seas Initiative was still at a formative stage, adding that “there is an ongoing discussion about its shape. For instance, whether some form of secretariat should be created, or some form of institutional setup, as currently it is managed on a rotational basis.”
He added that his company was in favor of institutionalizing the Three Seas Initiative.