President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS), Marko Čadež, announced that a new regional online platform will be launched at the forthcoming Western Balkans summit in Berlin, which should contribute to a better connection between companies in the region and with companies in third markets.
Participating in the event called “Western Balkans and Serbia: implementation of the action plan for the common regional market – advantages and challenges”, organised by the Investment Forum of the Western Balkans Chamber (KIF ZB6), Čadež said that the new platform would be initially aimed at companies from the food sector, automotive light industry and circular economy.
“We want to map all those companies that have something to offer and can be part of international supply chains with their business and production standards,” Čadež said. He also underlined that the project of building a common regional market was one of the most important activities for the Western Balkan countries on their way to the European Union membership and said that companies from the six Western Balkan countries should help their respective governments to implement the plan better and faster.
Čadež went on to say that the first observations and measurements of how the plan will be implemented will be known at the next Western Balkans summit in Berlin.
The Secretary-General of the Chamber’s Investment Forum, Tatjana Duškovska, said that the KIF represents more than 350,000 companies in the region, mostly small and medium-sized. Some of the main problems that companies in the region face include long queues at border crossings, failure to recognize each other’s certificates or other export documentation, as well as uncoordinated working hours of all border services and inspections.
According to her, the situation is further complicated by the problems that arise when sending workers to other countries, in terms of obtaining residence and work permits or recognition of qualifications and licences.
Duškovska also pointed out that the action plan offers solutions to these problems, but also has a development component because it lays the foundations for greater cooperation, better connectivity and improved competitiveness and productivity of companies in the Balkan region.
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