RCC, WB6CIF gather European investors, present opportunities and advantages of doing business in the Western Balkans
- 22 Nov 2022
Ljubljana – The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum (WBCIF) gathered European investors from Austria, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia, WB investment promotion agencies, ministries responsible for investment policy and promotion, regional organisations and international financial institutions to present opportunities and benefits of investing in the region at the Western Balkans 6 Investment Conference, in Ljubljana today.
“Since 2019, according to World Bank report, FDI contributed 4.9% of the region’s GDP, 5.3% in 2020, 5.8% in 2021 and this year it is estimated to contribute 5.2%, with a similar percentage forecasted also for the upcoming two years. While we cannot guarantee how the economic outlook will look like in the years to come, we are certain that the Western Balkans has becoming increasingly important investment destination and a place where transparency, all-inclusiveness and confidence is widely shared and promoted. This cannot be built over night but can be continuously consolidated through different areas, be it through transport, mobility, roaming, innovation, industry, you name it. That the regional cooperation is the only viable way thinks 76% of Western Balkan citizens and 69% of Western Balkan businesses who understand and support the importance of working together in addressing challenges that come from outside and within the region,” said Pranvera Kastrati, RCC Coordinator of the Common Regional Market (CRM) Action Plan, in her opening remarks.
The conference disseminated information on the investment framework, presenting opportunities and advantages of doing business in the Western Balkans, showcased examples of successful investments to the region and supported networking. Furthermore, the conference presented the comparative advantage of the Western Balkans region compared to other investment destinations in light of new global developments and nearshoring of supply chains.
“When the story of Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum started, it was an initiative to invite all chambers of commerce and not only work and cooperate together, but create a perception of a successful region where people make money, and not a region that people leave. We live in two realities. The political reality is a story of conflict and lack of trust. The reality of business and regional cooperation is a positive reality that creates true success stories. The political reality makes the headlines, making the effort of business reality much larger. Our goal is to show that cooperation can create capital, new jobs and build trust, because business reality always starts from what brings us together,” said Marko Cadez, President of the WBCIF Managing Board.
Stressing that it is time for mutual trust, Marko Cadez handed over the chairmanship of the WBCIF Managing Board to Lulzim Rafuna, inviting Western Balkans economies to share a vision of our region as a place of success.
WB6 investment potentials have been presented at the conference, but also testimonials of the lead investors, such as NLB Group, KOLEKTOR CCL, ATLANTIC GRUPA, SOL GROUP / TGS TEHNICKI GASOVI, SIGAL UNIQA GROUP AUSTRIA, MIKROELEKTRONIKA, and many others, focusing on experience gained, as well as key issues of WB6 governments in light of new global and regional developments. In addition, the conference offered the opportunity for B2G meetings during the networking phase of the event.
The Conference is a part of the Western Balkans Common Regional Market Action Plan implementation. More info on CRM: https://www.rcc.int/pages/143/common-regional-market. This project is funded by the European Union