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Four Freedoms for Strong Western Balkan Region

Dec 8, 2022

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For the stronger development of the Western Balkans (WB) region, it is important to facilitate the flow of goods, capital, services, and people in the upcoming period, to reduce waiting time at the borders, as well as to create regional strategies for the development of the energy sector and the food industry for the next 10 years. These are the recommendations of the WB business community in a survey conducted by the Chamber Investment Forum of the Western Balkans (CIF WB6) among 1150 companies from the region on the implementation of the Action Plan on the Common Regional Market (2021-2024).

Bojan Stanić, from the Sector for Strategic Analysis, Services and Internationalization of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS), pointed out that 55 percent of the companies that participated in the survey believe that the flow of goods at border crossings should be accelerated, while 21 percent of them believe that efficiency of the border has improved compared to the previous year. "The economies of the Western Balkans recorded significant growth in 2021, but in the coming period, the geopolitical crisis, negative demographic trends, and lurking recession in the European market can slow down economic development," says Stanić.

He adds that the competitiveness of companies in the region should be stimulated through the development of financial instruments for small and medium-sized enterprises, the creation of reliable supply chains, as well as through near-shoring opportunities. 
Tatjana Šterjova Duškovska, Secretary General of CIF WB6, pointed out that this forum is constantly involving companies in regional supplier chains and cited as an example the Market Access Platform, which has over 2,000 mapped companies registered. "It is important to monitor how much the costs of doing business in the region are reduced, because this is a common goal for all of us, and it is of great importance that the private sector participates in all activities and phases of the implementation of the Action Plan," Duškovska points out.
David Hudson from the European Commission's Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG Near) pointed out that strong economies make strong regions. He pointed to political stability and strong support from administrations in the region as important prerequisites for economic development.,
Emir Dikić, Director of CEFTA, pointed out that a methodology was created to analyze the waiting time of trucks at border crossings, and the first data collected this year indicate that the waiting time of trucks at borders varies from 42 to 140 minutes, depending on the goods they transport. He added that talks are underway between CEFTA members in order to establish priority lines for transporters and reduce waiting at the borders.
The presentation of the Report on the Implementation of the Action Plan on the Common Regional Market (2021-2024) was attended by more than 150 representatives of companies and institutions from the Western Balkan region.

Presentation of the Report "Monitoring the implementation of the Common Regional Market Action Plan (2021-2024) - Key business insight on priority action points"  was organized by Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum (https://www.wb6cif.eu/), in the framework of CEFTA week 2022.

Find bellow:   

  • The link with the final version of the Report
  • The link with the presentation of the Report, given by Mr Bojan Stanic, WB6 CIF Regional Centre for Economic Analysis coordinator


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