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July 30, 2021

Čadež: Open Balkan – Without Barriers, Waiting and Excessive Administration


The economy of the Western Balkans has got a strong support of the policy to start building something new and different, the region of success and trust – without barriers, excessive administration, and waiting at borders, was the message sent by Marko Čadež, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, at today’s Business Forum in Skopje.

It is confirmed by three agreements signed by President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, and Prime Ministers of North Macedonia and Albania, Zoran Zaev and Edi Rama, that should improve trade, enable the creation of the single labour market, and provide mutual support and help in the emergency situations.  

The Regional Initiative Mini Schengen has got a new name Open Balkan, and it is expected that there are no borders between Serbia, North Macedonia, and Albania as of 1 January 2023, and that qualifications and work permits will be mutually recognized from the next year.  

Čadež thanked everyone for making such a huge step forward for citizens and the economy of all three countries and for opening great opportunities for more intensive cooperation and stronger economic ties.  

“Everything is set up to talk about the regional cooperation, we have the name that is not much regional one, but it is important to talk about economic cooperation, to talk more about economy, to make money, and to have visible results of our cooperation”, CCIS President highlights. Our aim is, as he said, not to wait at borders, to make companies operate more competitive in the region and EU, because transport operators now wait from 120 to 180 minutes at borders within the region, and for more than 10 hours at the EU borders.  

It is significant to simplify the procedures for obtaining work permits, to recognize mutually qualifications, because it will ensure better mobility of labour force and will stop the outflow of citizens abroad, Čadež adds. 

The Forum in Skopje was attended by Presidents of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Albania and North Macedonia, Ines Mucostepa and Branko Azeski. “A new era of cooperation between policy and business begins, as well as a new era of cooperation between policy and policy, and business and business” Mucostepa said. 

The aim is to make the lines of trucks waiting at our borders disappear, and not to see such situations at border crossings anymore, Azeski said. “It is important to make an agreement today to open the Balkans and to unite ourselves as a business”, President of the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia adds. Their proposals and opinions on this new initiative were expressed by representatives of companies from the region that expect the issues agreed in Skopje to be carried as fast as possible, so that the Open Balkan would bring them tangible results in their everyday business operations.  

The Business Forum in Skopje was held in the joint organization of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, North Macedonia, and Albania, and together with political leaders of the region, it was attended by more than 400 businesspeople.