“The Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum (WB6 CIF) wants the European Union to begin negotiations with Northern Macedonia and Albania as soon as possible, as well as to apply for visa liberalization to Kosovo citizens”, President of the WB6 CIF Managing Board Marko Cadez said today.
He stated these were the conclusions of the meeting of six representatives of the Chambers of the Western Balkans, held at the economic conference “Synergy – the key to the success of the region” in Budva (MNE) and organized by the Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum and the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro.
Mr. Cadez expressed the disappointment of the representatives of the Western Balkans chambers regarding the ignorance of some European leaders who are not taking into account the voice of the EU business community and the Eurochambres, which recently sent the recommendation to the new representatives of the European Commission declaring the clear will to have the Western Balkans in the EU.
He recalled that the decision of the European Commission not to open negotiations with Northern Macedonia and Albania was made just few days after the recommendation of the Eurochambres, which is the representative and voice of 21 million companies from all over Europe. The matter of visa liberalization for Kosovo citizens was also untouched. The President of the WB6 CIF Managing Board pointed out the Western Balkans region is from an economic perspective more part of the EU than some states members if we look at the number of companies presented in the Western Balkans market.
He stressed out that it is not a matter of enlargement policy, but more an issue of strengthening the whole European Union.
Mr.Cadez took the opportunity to present the two projects that the WB chambers are now implementing in cooperation with the German Development Bank (KfW) and the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), which will be offered to companies and members of the six chambers of the Western Balkans in the upcoming period.
The first, is the “Regional Challenge Fund“ project, in which the Regional Chambers, in cooperation with the German development bank KfW will offer around € 13 million in the first phase of the project in the form of grants to the consortium of companies and educational institutions to train the employees as best as possible.
As for the second project, the WB6 CIF will work in cooperation with the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), assisted by the German Government, aiming to increase the capacity of the Chambers of the Western Balkans so that they can respond to the challenges that they are facing.
“The same project is intended to connect companies in the region with companies from Germany, which means that our chambers enable the members to acquire potential customers and to prepare to work with German partners” concluded Mr. Cadez.