The SEE 2020 strategy targets deeper regional trade and investment linkages to support and export-led and FDI-driven type of growth in South East Europe trough policy efforts in its key dimensions.
South East Europe is committed to advancing from state of low activity and high social exclusion to a situation where benefits of growth are shared by all by undertaking concrete joint actions in employment and health.
South East Europe has the potential to build a new competitive edge, driven by knowledge and innovation and based on its human capital, which, together with innovative entrepreneurship shape the foundations, grounded on modern information and communications technologies, for advancement of creative industries.
Sustainable and accessible transport and energy infrastructure lead to a competitive economic base and a resource efficient economy.
Public governance is a key cross-cutting issue in the agenda of SEE 2020. The strategy sets ambitious targets for public governance from setting up transparent, well functioning and efficient administrations to the containment of corruption and major progress in instituting the rule of law.
The Regional Cooperation Council promotes mutual cooperation and European and Euro-Atlantic integration of South East Europe in order to inspire development in the region to benefit its people
Trade and Investment is a part of the Integrated Growth pillar of the SEE 2020 Strategy, with the objective to promote regional trade and investment linkages and policies that are non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and that enhance flow of goods, investment, services and people within the region.
This also contributes to further integration of the region into the European and global economy through enhanced participation in international supply chains, grounded on improved international competitiveness backed by deepened regional trade and new investment. The Strategy sets the ambitious target for the expansion of both intra-regional trade in goods and overall FDI inflows to the region by 2020.
These targets are closely linked to the overall strategic goals, which envisage, inter alia, that total trade turnover (goods and services) will more than doubled over the same period. These are important building blocks of a vision founded on the robust promotion of regional trade and investment to support economic growth and job creation in the region.
Dimensions and Actions:
1. Free Trade Area
The signing of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) on 19 December 2006 set the stage for the establishment of a free trade area in South East Europe. The core effort within this dimension will be directed towards facilitating trade and liberalising trade in services among the CEFTA Parties.
FDI has been the key factor in economic modernisation in Central Europe, and it is expected to play a similarly important role in the SEE. The Region will:
2. Competitive Economic Environment
This dimension addresses issues in facilitating competitive economic environment through strengthening trade, competition rules, public procurement and intellectual property rights (IPR).
The action will thus focus on strengthening protection of trademarks throughout the region. CEFTA stipulates obligations for the parties to liberalise their public procurement markets. Further efforts still have to be employed to eliminate potential market entry barriers and to prevent any discriminatory practices.
Dimension coordinator: Central European Free Trade Agreement 2006 (CEFTA) Secretariat
3. Integration into the Global Economy
Improved market access is a precondition of successful integration into the world economy. The European Union (EU) is the largest trading partner of all countries in the region. Other important partners are the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states, Turkey and Russia. To achieve the ambitious targets for trade and investment, enhanced access to the markets of the leading trading partners is of crucial importance to all countries in the region.
Major efforts will be invested in coordination of relevant government policies e.g. trade policy, proactive industrial policy, investment policy etc. By the removing trade and investment barriers, by effective coordination of relevant government policies and by alignment of efforts with Governance for Growth, the Integrated Growth agenda as a whole will contribute substantially to improving the business climate in the region.
Balkan Barometer 2016: Public Opinion Survey