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December 22, 2021

Čadež: Open Balkan Initative Is an Opportunity for All Economies in the Region


The Open Balkan Initiative is a support to the existing regional initiatives in the Western Balkans, their implementation in practice, and response to the demands of the business community, companies, and real life. This is something that will bring benefits in everyday business, create more new jobs, money, and job posts for the benefit of citizens and the region's economies, said Marko Čadež, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, in an interview to Albanian Television Top Channel.

The initiative itself comes from companies, and it implies that there are no border restrictions, free movement of people, common market. This initiative is not political, but there is support and political will to do something, "said the President of CCIS, who expects all the economies of the Western Balkans to join the Open Balkan Initiative, in addition to Serbia, Albania, and Northern Macedonia.

"Some may want to wait to see what are the benefits of all this are, but the initiative is an opportunity for all economies. I think that next year we will talk about all six economies of the Western Balkans, which together will contribute to the further development of the common regional market and the Berlin Process. It is important that we solve problems and remove barriers, which will enable us to be competitive in Europe and to operate on the global market, "Čadež pointed out.

"When asked what results are to be expected in the first year of the Open Balkan Initiative, Čadež said: "That we can register electronically and get a work permit for any economy in the region, I hope in all six, that people and trucks do not stop at the borders, that we will sell goods at lower costs than those in other markets, and that people will see results and benefits and look at each other not through differences as strangers, but through common interests. "We already have that in Europe, we should not reinvent the wheel, but implement something that is really normal for the global economy and politics."

"The common labor market will have great advantages, especially in seasonal jobs. Albania is increasingly developing the tourism sector and building beautiful places on the seaside, there are more and more tourists and like any tourist country, it has a problem with the labor market and has to solve the problem of seasonal employment in the summer. Why not allow students to come and work during the summer! ”said Čadež. He also stated the importance of speeding up the transport of, for example, fresh vegetables, which will be made possible by recognizing mutual analyses. "We must no longer allow trucks with fresh fruits and vegetables to wait for hours, to do special analyses, because some certificates have not been recognized, and the good is getting perished," says Čadež.

Speaking about the bilateral economic relations between Serbia and Albania, Čadež reminded that the cooperation is increasingly intensifying and that in the past eight years the trade exchange has doubled to 250 million euros while this year it increased by about 27 percent with mutual growth.

"The development of trade relations is visible, but also the development of joint affairs. You have large companies from Albania, such as the Agna Group, which are buying companies in Serbia and operate successfully. You have Serbian companies that buy Albanian companies like Nelt, which bought Albcorp, which is also a successful distributor and forwarding company in Albania.

It is not just a trade exchange, but building trust in the business community. That is why the economies of Serbia, Albania, and Northern Macedonia demanded concrete steps through the Open Balkan initiative, and I think we have the first real steps, "Čadež explained.