Western Balkans Business Forum today in Tirana, experts highlight the positive role of the Open Balkan
As part of the upcoming Berlin Process Summit in Tirana, the Business Forum of the Western Balkans is taking place today, focusing on discussing achievements in the process of approaching the single market of the European Union.
For Nikolin Jaka, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Tirana, any initiative that contributes to the development of economic cooperation and the removal of tariffs and other barriers among Western Balkan countries is a quick and positive step toward integrating the region into the EU.
"In support of this, the Open Balkan has played a significant role in removing several barriers, and now there is increased circulation between our countries. Albania has doubled the value of its exports, and in the meantime, both Serbia and North Macedonia have doubled theirs, as well. Within this framework, we have sought and will continue to seek, that the Open Balkan process serves the Berlin Process. It is very important that the Western Balkans be an integration of six countries, as this is a European family that will serve both citizens and the economy. If we have an initiative that the Berlin Process accelerates, I am confident that the region will move as one block and will be a good offer for large investors from European Union countries. We will be in an economy in which we are, the six Western Balkan countries have a limited economy, but we have similar potentials that are mutually comparable, with a few small changes we have made in various sectors of the economy. What is important is that we have good performance and a complementary regional economy for foreign investors. There is no doubt that during integration, there will be interest in investing in the Western Balkans region," Jaka concludes.
Erion Muca, Professor of Economics at a university in Tirana, sees the economic situation in the region as stable with positive development, which, he notes, has been contributed to by the Open Balkan by removing barriers, starting with opening borders between regional countries.
According to him, the Berlin Process will inherit and continue with the achievements of the Open Balkan.
"With the Berlin Process, I think, which will be a new phase that will inherit the achievements so far, or the steps of the Open Balkan initiative, continuing or updating the agenda in elements that are mostly technical and practical, which have been more in the application of what has been adopted at the meetings of the Open Balkan, we are moving to a system of elements, very simple and concrete, which will be able to influence results somewhere less and somewhere more. That moment has come very firmly in the emergence or opening of personalized elements of leaders and leaders of European Union countries to once again restart, to once again resize relations with Balkan countries. The signals shown so far have been more visible, evaluating now much more objectively than before, the achievements of our countries, both in accession to the European Union and in relations with each other within the framework of the Open Balkan, confirming the readiness to do good things in the Balkans region," Muca assessed.
Today's Forum in Tirana, which aims to present past achievements and highlight the recommendations and needs of businesses in the Western Balkans, is attended by high-ranking officials from the EU and regional business communities.