Stronger promotion of digital services, improvement of digital skills, and assistance to companies in the process of digital business transformation are the priorities of the Chambers of Commerce of the Western Balkans, it was pointed out at the opening of the Digital Academy, which will be held from September 20 to 23 in Brezovica, organized by the Western Balkans Six Chamber Investment Forum ( CIF WB6).
Tatjana Šterjova Duškovska, Secretary General of CIF WB6, pointed out that chambers of commerce must monitor changes in the market and develop services that will contribute to competitiveness and better cooperation of companies in the region, bearing in mind the European perspective of the Western Balkan region. "It is important for the chambers to support companies in the development and use of digital tools," said Duškovska and added that the three-day academy, with the participation of experts from the region, will be an opportunity to present the best digital services for companies, their functioning, and transferability to other chambers.
The head of the Department for Digital Transformation in the European Commission, Malgorzata Nikovska, says that the focus of digital transformation in the EU is on networking, development of business infrastructure and skills in using digital services, as well as financial support for companies in the digitalization of business. "Only 60 percent of companies in the EU are digitally literate, and our goal is that in the next ten years, most companies will fully use digital services. That's why we are developing digital hubs where people can get direct help in this process," said Nikovska.
Lina Konstantinopolou, Policy Director at Eurochambers, said that companies in the EU and the Western Balkans region are increasingly investing in the development of digital tools, but also face a lack of financial support in this area. "It is important to provide support for the development of services that would speed up the formation of a single regional market and facilitate the flow of goods, capital, services, and people," pointed out Konstantinopolou.
The "Digital Academy" was organized with the support of the European Commission and the Eurochambres, and gathered more than forty representatives of regional chambers and experts for the development of digital services from Italy, Hungary, Austria, and Croatia.
On the second day of the academy, the Center for Digital Transformation of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia presented a project that was implemented in cooperation with the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKO).
„During three years project, 68 consultants were trained and certified (ISO 17024 standard) in the fields of business models and processes, e-commerce and social media, as well as IT security and GDPR, artificial intelligence. Also, 6 trained and certified CDT trainers for future generations of certified consultants were trained and our plan is to have around 100 certified consultants in the next two years in order to reach 1,000 companies that will go through the CDT consulting process as part of the Digital Transformation Support Program for MSMEs," said Tijana Kolaković from CDT.