Regional Cooperation Council at 6th Summit100 of Business Leaders of Southeast Europe
Gazmend Turdiu, Deputy Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, speaking at 6th Summit100 of Business Leaders of Southeast Europe in Skopje, 16 October 2017 (Photo: RCC/Zoran Popov)
Strengthening Business ties in the region by focusing on Connectivity as part of Multi-annual Action Plan on Regional Economic Area in Western Balkans Six (MAP)
Skopje – The 6th Business leaders’ Summit100, focusing on connectivity, discussing transport, free trade, infrastructure, branding and promotion of the region, mobility of people, as well as energy and digital agendas, kicked off in Skopje today.
While speaking at plenary panel ‘From Berlin via Vienna, Paris and Trieste to Prosperous Reality or How to Make Ideas and Projects Work for the Region Through Berlin Process’ Gazmend Turdiu, Deputy Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), reminded that the region tasked the RCC to coordinate preparation of the Multi-annual Action Plan on Regional Economic Area in Western Balkans Six (MAP), endorsed at this year’s Trieste Summit, as one of the Summit’s key deliverables.
MAP puts forward a structured agenda for joint approach to furthering economic cooperation and integration the Western Balkans.
“Delivering on MAP’s ambitious priorities for greater trade, investment and digital integration of WB6, as well as for facilitated mobility can indeed unleash the substantial economic potentials of Western Balkans. It can reduce the market fragmentation, make our region more open to trade and investments, strengthen our research and innovation base and digitalize our societies and business”, said Turdiu stressing this as especially important given that findings of RCC’s annual public and business perception survey - Balkan Barometer (BB) 2017, show that business people continue to struggle with what they see as complex taxation and an unfriendly business environment with an unpredictable legal system.
“The BB 2017 finds that the policy and institutional framework, its implementation, and corruption continue to be the main obstacles for economic growth in the region. However, on a positive note, business people in the region are confident they have a good product and can compete both domestically and abroad, and do not feel threatened by foreign competition: 85 % sold domestically, 8 % export to the EU; 5 % export to the SEE region; 28% agree that their company is threatened by global competition, while 30% disagree.”
This plenary panel witnessed signing of Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Cooperation between Summit100 and WB6 CIF - Western Balkans Chambers Investment Forum, which inaugurated its Secretariat in Trieste, on the margin of the WB6 Summit.
WB CIF represents over 350,000 companies from the region with a purpose to intensify inter-chamber cooperation in view of fostering business linkages within the region and beyond.
The Summit gathered region’s economies businesses working together to make South East Europe a competitive and innovative region, through cooperation and common projects.