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Čadež: Open Balkan Initiative and Chamber Investment Forum Push Forward the Region

Jul 21, 2022

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Regional initiatives such as the Open Balkan and the Chamber Investment Forum (CIF WB6) are the best way to strengthen economic cooperation and the growth of Western Balkan economies, improve the business climate, attract foreign investment and increase employment, but also an effective response to the major challenges facing the global economy, said Marko Čadež, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS), today in Ohrid, where he visited company Kostal Makedonija.

It is this company, its products - highly complex electrical parts for the automotive industry all over the world and suppliers from the entire region, that are the best confirmation of what regional economic cooperation means", said Čadež. He points out that it is important to remove all barriers between economies in the region because then companies can work much more, and produce and employ more people.

"This is what constitutes the essence of economic cooperation in the Western Balkans." Whether it is called the Open Balkan or something else, it doesn't matter to us in the economy. For us, economic initiatives are related to the entire region, to all six economies, and it is important that politicians recognize this. We see that a lot has already been done through the Open Balkan Initiative when it comes to better communication, logistics, and crossing borders," said the president of the CCIS and the president of the CIF WB6 Managing Board.

He reminded that 160 engineers work in Kostal Macedonia, and that they are looking for new highly qualified staff, while mutual recognition of qualifications and a unique common work permit in the region, which is realized through the Open Balkan, would enable the employment of new engineers.

 Branko Azeski, President of the Chamber of Economy of North Macedonia, said that political support at the highest level is important for economic integration in the Western Balkans...

He reminded that 160 engineers work in Kostal Macedonia and that they are looking for new highly qualified professionals, while mutual recognition of qualifications and a unique common work permit in the region, which is to be implemented through the Open Balkan, would enable the employment of new engineers.

 Branko Azeski, president of the Chamber of Commerce of North Macedonia, said that political support at the highest level is important for economic integration in the Western Balkan...

Viktor Mizo, director of the company Kostal Macedonia, said that the company employed 960 workers and that the main products were mechatronic modules, automatic gearboxes, electronic control units, switches, and internal chargers for electric cars, while the export markets were EU, Great Britain, USA, Mexico, and China.  The total value of Kostal Macedonia's exports in 2021 exceeded 75 million euros, achieved through the production of auto parts for the most famous brands of the automotive industry - Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, BMB, Mercedes, Jaguar, Land Rover, Tesla, Seat, Skoda.

A meeting of the Management Board of the Chamber Investment Forum of the Western Balkans (CIF WB 6) was held at the company, where important topics aimed at strengthening regional cooperation were discussed.

The regional chamber gathers six chambers of commerce of the Western Balkans and represents about 350,000 companies, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises, with the aim of providing a common voice to the business community, strengthening and improving contacts among businessmen, promoting the region as an investment destination.

Marko Čadež, President of the Management Board, and representatives of CIF WB 6 are expected to have talks with the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovačevski, in Ohrid tonight.

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